A report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer this week reveals that New Yorkers filed a record 9,448 tort claims against the NYPD last year, with complaints covering civil rights violations, police misconduct, injuries, and property damage.
The report [pdf] was released on Thursday, and covers the 2013 and 2014 fiscal year. The Comptroller's office says the city shelled out a total $216.9 million to settle claims against the NYPD, which have ticked up 75 percent in the last decade. The city paid a total $550 million for tort settlements and claims against all of its agencies, though the NYPD's settlements were a record high for any agency in 2014.
47 percent of the tort claims filed against the NYPD in 2013 were for alleged false arrest; $19.7 million were related to the policing of demonstrations like those at the 2004 Republican National Convention and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in 2011. There were also a number of claims settled for wrongful convictions—the city expects to see more of these settlements, thanks to an investigation into convictions presided over by former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, launched by current DA Kenneth Thompson.
The good news is, Stringer says claims against the NYPD have thus far declined 11 percent in the current fiscal year, which he described to the Times as a "very meaningful" reduction. The bad news is, it looks like a lot of the city's settlement cash will go towards the Department of Correction, which has been named in a number of lawsuits this year over complaints of correction officer brutality and dehumanizing treatment at Rikers Island.