NYPD Settlements Currently At $68 Million For 2022
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has paid $68 million towards civil legal matters in 2022 according to the Legal Aid Society. The payouts pertain to incidents of misconduct that were committed by police officers.
The amount paid this year is higher than the previous years’ payouts and is said to be on track to reach $100 million. According to the Legal Aid Society, this is already more than the money claimed in 2020 and will likely exceed the total amounts claimed in 2019 and 2021.
In recent years, the total for settlements has hovered between $60 and $90 million. The total figure of $68 million does not include all cases of misconduct.
According to the NYPD, this year’s total amount paid out is high mainly due to four cases. It is alleged that those four cases account for 70% of the $68 million.
A large payout was made in a matter involving two police officers who assaulted a young man and left the young New Yorker paralyzed. The two police officers are said to have dragged the victim and ignored him when he said he could not feel his legs.
One of the other settlements is that of Pablo Fernandez who was wrongfully accused and convicted of a homicide in 1996.
Fernandez spent more than twenty years in prison before the charges against him were dismissed and he was released from jail. Both of the previously mentioned cases saw settlements of $12 million each.
Still on the News…
The other cases involve police misconduct that was carried out against participants of the George Floyd protests that swept across the country in 2020. In these cases, it is alleged that police officers purposely made sure protesters remained stuck in one area until the curfew before violently arresting them.
“The sad truth is that while the city doles out tens of millions of dollars each year on police misconduct lawsuits, the overwhelming majority of the officers involved in these lawsuits likely received only a slap on the wrist, if any discipline at all,” said Jennvine Wong, staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s special litigation unit.
“Simply put, officers who commit egregious acts of misconduct should not be allowed to police our clients’ neighborhoods.
Not only does this inaction further the culture of impunity that thrives at precincts throughout New York City, but it costs taxpayers millions of dollars that would be better spent on services for vulnerable communities.”
Mayor Eric Adams’ office has denied any responsibility for the incidents that led to the lawsuits, highlighting how they are matters that occurred before his administration.
After Adams stepped into office, he revived, with a few differences, a controversial NYPD anti-crime unit that had been disbanded under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
The unit was infamous for repeated incidents of misconduct as well as being heavy-handed against suspects. Though Adams revived a controversial police unit, he did express that police officers follow the rules and do their jobs well.
“We will give the police the tools they deserve and they require, but my men and women that wear a blue uniform, we will not be abusive to the public that we swore to serve and protect,” he said. “That is our obligation. That’s the partnership.”