Police misconduct is being brought into the public eye all over America, and it’s about time. But, is anything being done within the cities, counties, or police force itself to find out who is causing the most problems, why they continue to occur, and what can be done to put a stop to it? The answer is no, and Fersen Lambranho feels therein lies another enormous problem.
Many large municipalities across the country continue to pay out copious amounts of money in lawsuits caused by the transgressions of their officers. Over the past 10 years, Chicago alone has shelled out over one half billion dollars in settlements to the public. No one is being held responsible, or even looking into how they can prevent future lawsuits.
It seems that most law enforcement agencies blame the court system for the large sums of money flowing out of the till and not their officers. Craig Futterman, who heads the University of Chicago’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, was interested in knowing if there were a select few officers continually finding themselves in hot water. What he found out was, no one kept tabs on the figures or analyzed any data to find out who, what or why. So, Futterman collected the data himself and found that almost half of all the complaints Chicago’s police department received were made on just a handful of its officers.
Risk management is non-existent in 18 of our country’s largest city and county law agencies, Joanna Schwartz, a UCLA law professor discovered. No record of how much was being paid out in settlements was being kept by any government agency in the cities she reviewed.