Last year, New York City residents filed an average of 10 lawsuits every day against the New York Police Department. And it didn’t come cheap.
Settlement costs in 2013 reached $137.2 million thanks to 9,502 new claims filed against the police, according to data from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. This rate is higher than any other agency in the city, and growing fast.
“The cost and number of claims against the NYPD has grown tremendously,” reads a report from Stringer’s office. The data shows these claims have risen 71 percent in the last decade.
Most claims against the NYPD “consist primarily of allegations of police misconduct, civil rights violations and injury and/damage from accidents involving police vehicles,” the report says.
Stringer’s office also compiled the data geographically, and found some startling patterns.
“Even when adjusting for crime rates, certain precincts in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn have had far more claims filed against their officers than precincts in other parts of the city,” Stringer’s report says.
While these areas may not have had the most total lawsuits, the rates were higher in terms of concentration.
“While these lawsuits were present throughout the five boroughs, the map shows that they were anything but evenly distributed,” wrote data blogger Ben Wellington in a Dec.12 post on his site, “I Quant NY,” which maps out city data.
He noted that the rate of lawsuits per person was 1.1 per 1,000 residents in the Bronx. In Staten Island, site of the high-profile death of Eric Garner at the hands of a police officer in July, there were just 109 lawsuits filed in 2013, for a rate of 0.23 per 1,000 people.