New York City has shelled out $384 million in taxpayer funds to settle cases of police misconduct over the past five years — and more than half of the suits brought against officers didn’t even go to trial, a Post analysis has found.
Some of the settled cases involved allegations of wrongful imprisonment or police brutality.
But others were seemingly nuisance suits of the kind that Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed in January 2015 to crack down on.
Hizzoner said then that he would aggressively challenge “ambulance-chasing lawyers” who “try to make a buck by gaming the system.
“The court process is long, it’s complicated, it’s costly. But we’ll do that to send a clear message that this has got to stop,” he said.
Several lawyers who regularly file misconduct suits against the NYPD said de Blasio’s edict has led the city’s lawyers to take a tougher stand during negotiations.
But data made public by the city Law Department show the city still struck 530 settlements for $5,000 or less, amounts that plaintiffs’ lawyers described as payments to make “nuisance” cases go away without litigation.