What one way a suspected drug gang member can muster up some cash legally? By suing the city! An alleged Brooklyn drug crew has apparently raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing civil rights lawsuits against the city—all because the city rather settle the suits than go to court. A NYC Law Department spokeswoman told the Daily News, "Although we are often successful at trial, it can be more expensive to defend a case than to settle it."
The Post reports, "Thugs involved with the 'East 21st Street Crew,' which allegedly dealt crack and cocaine in East Flatbush, have filed at least 10 lawsuits charging that they were unfairly arrested. One alleged member, Shamel King, filed six actions over the last four years after his arrests for drug possession failed to lead to indictments. Those cases yielded a pay-out of $132,500." The News adds, "King, charged with 37 sales, was caught on video smiling as he counted out crack rocks, a law enforcement source said."
Sometimes getting big payouts might not be that safe: The News also reports, "A main target of the East 21st St. Crew, Anthony Lawrence, was shot multiple times and wounded Aug. 31 in his apartment, apparently by gunmen who went to rob him of his latest settlement check from the city - for $17,500, law enforcement sources said. Lawrence collected $40,000 in settlements. He was indicted on 11 counts of drug selling."