Lawsuits against police costing taxpayers a pretty penny

Source: Philadelphia Department of Finance Daily (News staff graphic)

This morning in the Daily News, IOM's Ben Waxman delivers an important story about the cost to taxpayers of settling lawsuits against the police:

Over the past three fiscal years, city taxpayers have shelled out $31.6 million to settle lawsuits brought against the department. The majority of the payments - $20.8 million - went to settle complaints of civil-rights violations by police officers, according to figures provided by the city's Department of Finance.

That's nearly a 50 percent increase from the prior three fiscal years, during which the city paid about $14 million to settle civil-rights complaints. The city paid out about $25 million for all lawsuits against the Police Department in fiscal years 2005 through 2007.

Ben goes on to explore why these costs might be up. Check it out.