Taxpayers are starting to question why so much of their money goes to cleaning up after the police, divvying out massive settlement compensation to people who were violated by law enforcement.
“This is a whole system problem and that’s why we have so many lawsuits against the city,” Minneapolis’ City Council President Lisa Bender said.
“When the city attorney thinks a financial risk is lower to settle than it is to go to court, they bring that recommendation to the city council…I think we’re reaching the point where the average taxpayer will start to feel that liability in that tax payment and in their services.”
Between 2010 and 2020, the city of Minneapolis has paid out a total of $36.5 million worth of police brutality settlements. In 2021, the city has already been forced to give out $27 million in settlements to the family of George Floyd, the man who was killed in a controversial confrontation with police in March of 2020.
Bender says that the huge number of police brutality settlements can be attributed to a systemic problem with how officers conduct themselves. According to her, “There are too many instances of officers using force, there’s too many instances of officers not being disciplined in a way that leads to a shift in behavior, getting officers off the street.”
In 2014, Madelyn Milton was allegedly pushed to the ground by police officers, requiring major medical work done on the side of her head afterward. Her compensation was $82,000.
In 2010, David Smith was tied down and suffocated to death during an arrest at the hands of police. The city of Minneapolis awarded his family $3 million.
Police officers are not just hurting citizens, but other police officers. In 2003, Officer Duy Ngo was hit by friendly fire in the line of duty by a fellow cop. He was awarded $4.5 million in compensation from the city, which was the largest of its kind. Sadly, however, Ngo ended up committing suicide less than 3 years later.
Do you need help with a police brutality lawsuit?
If you were brutalized by police, connect with an experienced Minnesota police brutality lawyer to explore your legal options. A good lawyer on your side is your best shot at getting the compensation you deserve.
Common examples of police brutality in Minnesota are:
- Racial profiling
- Excessive use of a weapon or police dog
- False arrest
- Searching one’s premise without a warrant or probable cause
Am I entitled to a settlement?
This depends on whether or not your case goes to trial. If lawyers for the police department think they have a chance to prove there was no misconduct committed, they may choose not to give you a settlement and instead fight their case in court, potentially leaving you empty-handed.
To maximize your chances of compensation, contact a Minnesota police brutality lawyer near you today and begin the legal process.