Police Abuse

Chicago Spent More Than $500 Million on Police Lawsuits Since 2004

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TonyTheTiger/Wikipedia

The Windy City has spent more than $500 million settling and otherwise resolving police-related lawsuits, according to a new report by the Chicago-based investigative journalism nonprofit Better Government Association (BGA).

Chicago spent $84 million of that money last year alone, though Mayor Rahm Emanuel (a Democrat) blames the volume of lawsuits on the previous mayor, Richard Daley (also a Democrat). According to the BGA, the city is currently working through nearly 500 pending lawsuits.

The city was originally projected to spend "just" $27 million on police lawsuits in 2013. But the city council voted on payouts exceeding that total on a single day in January. In February, the city settled over the shooting of unarmed Flint Farmer by Chicago Police officer Gildardo Sierra in 2011 for $4 million. It was Sierra's third shooting in six months.

More details from the report via the Chicago Sun-Times:

In all, the BGA found more than $521.3 million has been spent to handle police misconduct-related lawsuits from 2004 to the present day. The true cost, though, is even higher, as the BGA counted settlements and judgments, legal bills and other fees—but not less tangible expenses related to, say, insurance premiums, investigators and the cost of incarcerating innocents.

In all, the BGA found 1,611 misconduct-related lawsuits had been filed against Chicago police from 2009 to 2013, a majority alleging excessive force.

Public records show the city paid $391.5 million in settlements and judgments over the last decade. More than a quarter, or $110.3 million, was related to 24 wrongful-conviction lawsuits. A dozen of those 24 involved now-imprisoned former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge, whose detectives were accused of torturing confessions out of mostly black male suspects over many years. Overall, the city has paid alleged victims of Burge detectives more than $57 million, records show.

Last February, after the city had already spent more than $30 million cleaning up the department's messes, the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) demanded a 12 percent pay raise and a $3,000 bonus for being required to live in Chicago. In November the city offered police a 5 percent raise, which the local union rejected. In December, the local union president was suspended by the state FOP after he alleged that arbitration on previous contracts had been "fixed" in the city's favor.

Chicago has the highest proportion of police officers to the general population among major U.S. cities.

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  1. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. — TJ

    We should start with the tyrants first.

    1. Presumably, TJ knew how to use apostrophes?

  2. This only equates to $200 per Chicagoan. I think that’s a reasonable price to pay for safety over a 10 year span.

    -FOP Representative
    -Chicago Alderman

    1. Wouldn’t the tab for Chicago residents also include the payments by Cook County?

      1. What do you mean?

  3. Why does it cost so much to beat up poor people?

  4. As a Chicago resident, you gotta love this sort of thing. I remember telling a mutual acquaintance how I would solve the police brutality issue. Every time the city has to pay out some money from a lawsuit involving the police, take it out of the police retirement fund.

    1. Why do you want the criminals to win, Ed?

      1. The sad part about this is that someone actually said that to me. And that fucking abomination of a TV show Chicago PD doesn’t help much.

      2. Hey Sloop. You got a h/t today. Doesnt that mean you are restricted from associating with us non h/ters?

        1. And I thought the days of hat tips were over.

    2. Yeah, that’s been suggested many times on these here boards. That the Police Pension fund be the place where lawsuit monies are pulled from.

      1. I would assume the police pension fund is already underfunded anyway.

      2. I would pro-rate to every Chicago cop, active duty and retired, and garnish pay/pension checks until the award is paid. Group punishment. It works in the Army, and these fucktards are soldier wannabees.

  5. “after the city had already spant more than $30 million”

    Is ‘spant’ like ‘shan’t’ or ‘mayn’t’?

    1. Sure. Its the nominal possessive conditional case. Its transitive, of course.

      “We spant $20” versus

      “She must have spent $20”

    2. More like “shat”.

  6. Chicago has the highest proportion of police officers to the general population among major U.S. cities.

    It’s Demotopia. Law and order, progressive politics, legalism and rule of law.

    1. Law and order, progressive politics, legalism and rule of law.

      In that order.

      1. I love it. I’ll have your law. I’m having law, law, law, law, law, law, law, law, order, law, law, and law.

        Order’s off!

        Well, can I have law instead?

        You mean law, law, law, law, law…

        1. eughhh!

    2. Chicago has the highest proportion of police officers to the general population among major U.S. cities.

      Hey, those citizens aren’t going to beat and shoot themselves.

  7. Look, if you want a Cadillac police department you have to pay Cadillac property taxes.

    And Teslas cost even more.

    1. +1 police issue Taser.

  8. A dozen of those 24 involved now-imprisoned former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge, whose detectives were accused of torturing confessions out of mostly black male suspects over many years. Overall, the city has paid alleged victims of Burge detectives more than $57 million, records show.

    But were those hard-working, God-fearing detectics ever trained to NOT torture confessions out of black male suspects? Huh? You can’t very well expect them to be experts in the nuances of the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments when the safety of the people of Chicago is at stake! These urban youth terrorists could go out and kill again! Do you want that on your conscience? No? Then you must hold these fine officers immune from liability for torturing these unconvicted criminals!

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