Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cities paying out big money for police brutality

Cities paying out big money for police brutality

Chicago Sun Times | April 14, 2015

Brutality-related lawsuits have cost Chicago taxpayers $521 million over the last decade — that’s more than half a billion dollars.

In 2013 alone, the city paid out $84.6 million in settlements, judgments, legal fees and other expenses, more than triple the budgeted amount.

That’s a huge expenditure for a city with billions of dollars in unfunded pension obligations, and a budget crisis severe enough to force mental health clinic shutdowns, reduced library hours and higher fees for water, parking and other services.

Los Angeles, which has a similar-sized police force, paid out $20 million in brutality-related legal claims last year, less than a quarter of Chicago’s outlay.

The last time Chicago spent less than that was $18.5 million in 2005.

Philadelphia, with a force half the size of Chicago’s, shelled out $9 million.

New York City’s last available payout figure is $152 million, almost double last year’s Chicago number, but its population and police force are three times as large.