New York City taxpayers shelled out $428 million in NYPD-related settlements over the last five years.
That figure comes from numbers provided by the Law Department to MuckRock in response to a FOIL request.
To say that the more than 12,000 settlements were solely prompted by the police department's actions is somewhat misleading. The largest settlement on the list, $11.5 million, resulted from the case of Google engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, who was hit and partially paralyzed by a falling tree limb in Central Park in 2009.
The family of Ronald Spear sued the City after Spear died on Rikers Island after being beaten by Correction officers; they received $2.75 million.
And the $428 million figure may not accurately reflect what the City is actually paying out.
John Gad Alla won a $2.5 million settlement from a jury after he was beaten by NYPD officers in his home in 2010, one of the 10 largest settlements on the list. But last year a federal judge reduced that amount by $1.5 million and ordered a new trial. The $18 million that protesters are receiving from the City due to the NYPD's actions at the 2004 RNC protests isn't on the list because the litigation began before 2009.
The average settlement amount is around $33,000. Last year we met protester Jed Meighan, who said he was living off the settlement he obtained from the City after being shoved to the ground by a group of NYPD officers during an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2012. Meighan broke his wrist and later received $55,000.
This past summer the City paid out $583,024 to a group of 14 Occupy protesters who were arrested on New Year's Day in 2012, the largest OWS-related settlement to date.
The FY 2015 budget sets aside $674 million to pay judgements and settlements for claims brought against the City.
You can view the whole settlement list here.