NYC has paid $50 million so far this year in police misconduct payouts, Legal Aid says

The Gothamist, Michelle Bocanegra, Sep 8, 2023

New York City paid out more than $50 million to settle claims of police misconduct in the first seven months of this year, with the median amount already higher than the last five years, according to an analysis from the Legal Aid Society.

The price tag covered the resolution of more than 400 lawsuits between January and late July, based on the organization’s analysis of city data. Data on payouts related to law enforcement misconduct is disclosed biannually under local law.

Among the payments this year was a roughly $415,000 settlement to resolve allegations in June from state Sen. Zellnor Myrie and former Assemblymember Diana Richardson against the city and multiple NYPD officers at a 2020 protest over the death of George Floyd.

In their lawsuit over police behavior during the New York protests, Myrie and Richardson accused officers of using pepper spray and controversial crowd control tactics like kettling at a Brooklyn demonstration they both attended. Officers arrested Myrie at the protest “even though he had done nothing wrong,” the complaint reads.

Their descriptions echoed others offered by protesters that summer, some of whom also sued and received payouts from the city.

“This culture of impunity cannot continue, and we implore recently appointed Commissioner Edward Caban to prove to New Yorkers that NYPD will finally take the steps needed to truly hold officers accountable who infringe on the rights of our clients,” Jennvine Wong, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society who focuses on police accountability, said in a statement on Friday.

Read More: The Gothamist