Who Pays For Police Misconduct?
(MintPress) — As incidents of police brutality and misconduct rise in cities throughout the nation, so does the price tag for the American people, who ultimately carry the cost associated with investigations, administrative leaves and million dollar settlements. The burden to the officers themselves is often nothing more than a pink slip and, in the worst-case-scenario, loss of employment.
These incidents only represent the thousands of cases of police misconduct and brutality carried out in the U.S. each year. According to the CATO Institute’s National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP), $347.4 million was spent between April 2009 and June 2010 on settlements and judgements related to misconduct and brutality. That price tag reflects 5,986 separate incidents during that time period, 382 of which resulted in fatalities.
In its annual report, the CATO Institute claims the numbers through 2010 remained consistent, with $346.5 million spent on related judgements, settlements, court costs and attorney fees from January-December 2010. During that time, the organization’s statistics show 4,861 incidents reported throughout the year, involving more than 6,600 law enforcement officials and 6,826 victims.
Yet with consistently high numbers and settlements reaching in the millions, it seems there has been no other solution presented other than to deal with the issue at hand, reach into the settlement funds and move on. The numbers show the tactic isn’t necessarily deterring the actions, and the cost continues to mount for taxpayers.