In The Last Five Years, The NYPD Has Paid $428 Million In Settlements
$428 million. That’s how much money New York City has paid out in police-related settlements in the last five years.
The figure came to light after a response to a Freedom of Information Law request filed by MuckRock. Because of this, New York City released a document listing every civil rights lawsuit brought against the NYPD since 2009. It also documents how much money it costs to settle each case. The spreadsheet was titled “NYPD Closed Actions Commenced in 2009-2014 to Date.”
Not all of these settlements, however, are the result of basic misconduct by cops.
“For example, the largest payout, $11.5 million, went to Google engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, who was nearly killed in 2009 when a tree branch fell on him in Central Park. Another big one — $2.75 million — went to the family of Ronald Spear, who died after being beaten by Rikers Island guards, who work for the Department of Correction, not the NYPD,” reports New York magazine.
But there are still more than 12,000 cases (with an average settlement of $33,875) listed on the document provided to MuckRock. The settlements range from $1 to $11,500,000.
“Those numbers are in line with the findings of a 2010 AP investigation, which discovered nearly $1 billion in NYPD payouts over the previous decade,” reports Gawker. And in 2012, Bloomberg News reported the city planned to spend $735 million on settling lawsuits, police and otherwise. This was nearly six times what Los Angeles pays per capita.
For 2015, NYC has set aside $674 million for settlements and costs, reports TheGrio.