In response to the points brought up post-publication, we wanted to clarify two things:
One, these figures only represent settlements from cases which began after January 1st, 2009. The actual total amount of settlements from that five-year period – which would include all cases that were ongoing as of that date – is likely much, much higher.
Two, the New York City Law Department clarified the scope of the list on Tuesday. The spreadsheet is comprised of all lawsuits in which the NYPD was listed as a defendant. Why the police department was a defendant in lawsuits like the Sasha Blair-Goldensohn case is not clear.
Any other observations, please let us know!
As part of an ongoing investigation, MuckRock’s Todd Feathers asked the NYPD for a list of all civil rights lawsuits brought against the department. To his surprise, what he got was every case brought against the NYPD since 2009, and how much those cases cost them. To all of MuckRock’s surprise, that amount is almost half a billion dollars.
We’ve only just begun to look through the data, but already there’s a couple interesting take-aways: one, the sheervolume of capital that is being spent on settlements, and two, that the overwhelming majority of these cases end with the NYPD at fault. While’s there a handful of Zero Disposition and Administrative Closing statuses, the Settlement category outnumbers them three to one.
We encourage readers to take a look at the data and see what they can find. For example, here’s the ten largest payoffs, totaling 35 million:
Thanks again to Todd Feathers for the request, and as always, let us know what you find at email@example.com.