NY and NJ officers found on an Oath Keepers list a year back still have their jobs

NYC spent $121M on lawsuit payouts for claims of police misconduct in 2022

Payouts for lawsuits towards the NYPD topped $121 million in 2022, practically doubling the quantity spent to settle claims of officer misconduct simply two years earlier, based on a Authorized Support Society evaluation of newly launched metropolis knowledge.

Police have been named in a number of wrongful conviction lawsuits that settled final 12 months for hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. One concerned two males who’ve since been exonerated for the killing of Malcolm X. One other was for a person who was freed after spending 25 years in jail for the 1990 homicide of a vacationer on a subway platform in Midtown. Claims of officer misconduct in the course of the 2020 protests after the homicide of George Floyd additionally contributed to the rise.

“The city continues to pay out astronomical amounts for NYPD misconduct,” mentioned Jennvine Wong, an lawyer with the Authorized Support Society’s Cop Accountability Undertaking. “What that means is that the city is not taking NYPD misconduct and accountability for that misconduct seriously enough.”

Whereas the quantity of settled lawsuits has decreased in the previous 5 years, the worth tag has jumped considerably. In 2018, town resolved 1,579 lawsuits for $76,492,742, based on the Authorized Support Society. Final 12 months, it settled 939 lawsuits for $121,376,712.

That doesn’t embrace payouts settled via town comptroller’s workplace earlier than somebody information a proper lawsuit, which exceeded $183 million in 2022. Each the quantity of settlements and the greenback quantity for payouts from the comptroller’s workplace have declined in current years, from a excessive of greater than $356 million spent on 4,072 settlements in 2017.

The town’s Regulation Division, which is legally required to publish police settlement knowledge each six months, famous that some of the payouts stem from prosecutorial critiques of probably wrongful convictions in current years. Progressive district attorneys have created models to reinvestigate previous instances in current years, prompting them to drop convictions towards some folks after many years of incarceration.

“In recent years, district attorneys have moved to vacate many more criminal cases going back dozens of years which have led to an increase in the number of reverse conviction suits and related payouts,” legislation division spokesperson Nick Paolucci mentioned in an announcement. “We are committed to promptly reviewing matters to keep litigation costs down and to provide some measure of justice to plaintiffs who were wrongfully convicted.”

Settling a lawsuit permits town and the police division to shut a case with out admitting wrongdoing. Whereas settlements typically require the NYPD to implement coverage adjustments, such because the landmark Floyd v. Metropolis of New York case that upended the division’s stop-and-frisk practices, they’re separate from the police division’s disciplinary course of. Being named in a lawsuit solely outcomes in punishment if the NYPD believes that an officer violated coverage.

The Police Benevolent Affiliation, town’s largest police union, mentioned lawsuit payouts “are not a fair or accurate measure” of officers’ job efficiency.

“The city routinely settles cases in which police officers have done nothing wrong,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch mentioned in an announcement. “Some of the largest payouts arise from decades-old cases that don’t involve a single cop who is still on the job today.”

The NYPD didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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