Police Brutality Lawsuit Outcomes Linked to Politics


The quantity of financial settlements of lawsuits in opposition to cities and cities over police violence could rely upon the native politics of the place the killing occurred. An NPR analysis of settlements in instances from 2015, the yr after protests over the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., discovered 93 instances by which police killed an individual who had not been armed with a gun or different weapon. Twenty-nine led to a settlement for the households of these killed. The most important settlements occurred in counties that voted for Hillary Clinton within the 2016 presidential election: Twenty instances settled for a complete of greater than $50 million, or about $2.6 million per case. A lot of the settlements have been for greater than $1 million. Within the counties that voted for Donald Trump, eight instances have been settled, for a complete of $14 million – about $1.eight million per case. Three settlements topped $1 million.

Civil rights attorneys say there could also be new connections growing between the courts and widespread opinion on police. Black Lives Matter protests have been polarizing and are hardening political divisions about legislation enforcement on each side. In an Ipsos/NPR ballot out Sept. three, three of 4 Democrats help protests after the Kenosha, Wi., capturing of Jacob Blake; fewer than one in 10 Republicans do. If such divisions prolong to authorized disputes over police conduct, that may imply stark variations by way of localities’ inclination to settle instances, and of native jurors’ willingness to carry cops accountable. Civil rights lawyer David O’Brien misplaced a jury trial in a police brutality case in Sioux Metropolis, Ia., a conservative city in a conservative state. He blames the loss on a neighborhood backlash in opposition to Black Lives Matter. In additional liberal Los Angeles County, civil rights lawyer James DeSimone says California jury swimming pools “have change into extra open to discovering police liable in acceptable instances.”