The price of withholding video footage evidence

An attorney for the family of a Wisconsin resident who was shot and killed by a Polk County sheriff’s deputy in 2018 told Axios this week that the shooting “more likely than not was justified.”

Why it matters: The case drew questions over why video evidence was withheld for more than two years after the shooting.

It also cost the county at least $170,000 to settle legal disputes.

Flashback: Polk County sheriff’s officials said Isaiah Hayes robbed a Grinnell Walmart and led law enforcement on two high-speed chases on July 17, 2018.

Polk deputy Ryan Phillips shot and killed Hayes as he tried to flee on foot in an Altoona neighborhood, sheriff’s officials said.

Hayes was holding a gun at the time of the shooting, according to the sheriff’s officials. Methamphetamine was later found in Hayes’ system, autopsy records show.

Female police officer wins $1.75 million settlement against CCSU in rape and sexual harassment lawsuit

Lawyers for a female police officer at Central Connecticut State University said she has obtained a settlement of $1.75 million against the University, claiming the university “fostered an environment in its police department where police sexual misconduct and even sexual assault was the norm, emboldening a fellow officer to rape her on three separate occasions.”

The lawsuit also claimed that members of the police department “sexually harassed female undergraduate students,” and that one officer who was later promoted to sergeant “openly pursued a sexual relationship with an undergraduate student.”

Read the records of 85,000 cops who were investigated for misconduct

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its affiliated newsrooms across the country and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

Police misconduct claims cost Detroit taxpayers $19.1 million since 2015

The city of Detroit has paid out $19.1 million to settle claims of police misconduct since 2015, 7 Action News has learned.

The payouts stem from allegations of wrongful arrest, assault and battery, destruction of property and more.

“$19 million? That impacts every single citizen in the city of Detroit,” said Reginald Crawford, a retired Detroit police officer who recently completed a term on the city’s Board of Police Commissioners.

“The city knows they’re liable, they’re on the hook for something,” he said.

Minnesota police settlements, by the numbers

The settlement between the Justine Ruszczyk family and the city of Minneapolis for $20 million after former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot her in 2017 is the largest in city history.

A jury convicted Noor of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Ruszczyk, who was also known as Justine Damond. She had called police the night of July 15, 2017 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Minneapolis home.

According to the settlement, the family will donate $2 million to a safe communities fund.

It is not the first time cities have paid settlements to settle police officer misconduct cases.

Prior to Friday’s settlement with the Ruszczyk family, the city of Minneapolis had paid out more than $24 million in police misconduct related settlements, claims and judgments since 2003.

Still have questions?

Call (877) 932-2628 and speak with one of our legal funding experts.

* Word-Use Disclaimer

Legal funding is not a loan. It is the non-recourse purchase of an equitable lien in plaintiffs’ legal claims. Words such as ‘loans,’ ‘lending,’ ‘borrow,’ etc., are used for marketing purposes only.
More info

TriMark Legal Funding LLC
1056 Green Acres Rd #102
Eugene, OR 97408