society

NYC paid out more money in 2022 to settle police misconduct lawsuits than in past 5 years

According to a new analysis from the Legal Aid Society, the city of New York paid out more money to settle police misconduct lawsuits in 2022 than they did in the last five years.

The city paid over $121 million to settle lawsuits against the NYPD in 2022. While the number of lawsuits settled on behalf of the NYPD has declined steadily in the last five years, the payouts have increased.

Several payouts were made in police misconduct cases towards protesters following the death of George Floyd in 2020, according to the Legal Aid Society’s analysis.

In the wake of Tire Nichols’ fatal beating by Memphis police, the Legal Aid Society is calling on the mayor and the NYPD commissioner to hold its officers accountable on top of settling lawsuits.

“We see that in many cases where there are large payouts… just no discipline, or at most a slap on the wrist,” said Molly Griffard of the Legal Aid Society.

The NYPD respondents with the following statement:

“While the decision to settle a lawsuit, and for how much, remains with the Law Department and the Comptroller — the NYPD actively seeks out information learned from these lawsuits in order to improve officer performance and enhance training or policy, where necessary.”

The Legal Aid Society says it is concerned that the current system is sending a message to NYPD officers that their misconduct will be tolerated.

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The Legal Aid Society urges major to be transparent about evidence lost in the NYPD warehouse fire

The Legal Aid Society wants Major Eric Adams to be clear about what was lost when a fire damaged an NYPD warehouse in Brooklyn.

The group is concerned that when the warehouse that stored decades of DNA evidence in Red Hook went up in flames earlier this month, it may have changed the fate of those who were wrongfully convicted.

Elizabeth Felber, with the Legal Aid Society, says DNA is the gold standard for evidence and criminal justice and that is why this fire is detrimental to the system’s flow.

This is why the group has penned a letter to the major to be more transparent.

“We want an accounting of what was destroyed. We want to know every single item that was in that facility…whether it is still in any kind of condition to be tested, which seems unlikely. What clients do those items correspond to, whose cases were affected by this fire,” Felber says.

She adds that the Legal Aid Society also wants a committee that includes those who have been wrongfully convicted, public defenders, district attorney offices, the mayor and NYPD to come up with a plan to make sure DNA evidence is more secure in the future.

“Why aren’t they doing a better job? Why is the building so rundown and ram shackled? Why are they storing e-bikes, which I hear is a huge fire hazard? So there has to be accountability on how they can do it better and must do it better,” Felber says.

She said the fire made her job much harder when her clients were wrongly proven but not impossible.

“We will have to come up with a remedy and perhaps persuade the different DA’s offices to agree to at

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