The City Has Spent A Shocking $642 Million On Police Misconduct Since 2004

By Mae Rice in News on Feb 1, 2016 3:47PM

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Photo of a tiny fraction of the federal money officials missed out on via Flickr

Over the past 12 years, the City of Chicago has spent just under $642 million on police misconduct cases, according to City Hall data obtained by the Better Government Association and published in the Sun-Times.

Over the past two years, the city has spent $106 million on police misconduct, the Sun-Times reports—a below-average level of expense for the 12-year period represented above.

These figures cover settlements, legal fees, and other costs, according to the Sun-Times, which also reports that CPD is currently up against 450 police misconduct lawsuits.

The department has settled in cases in which the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) deemed the use of force justified. In 2015, for instance, the city paid $8.5 million to Aaron Harrison’s family, according to the Sun-Times; an officer fatally shot 18-year-old Harrison in the back in 2007, in North Lawndale, a shooting IPRA ruled was justified.

“Historically, the city has settled too easily in some cases,” Dean Angelo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police chapter, told the Sun-Times: “It’s extremely frustrating to police officers," he said. "But it’s not their call.”

Police misconduct, and police-involved shootings, have been an increasingly popular topic of public discussion in Chicago of late, especially since footage of Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Laquan McDonald was released in November. Officer Van Dyke has since been charged with six counts of homicide.