Report: Philly Paid Out $40 Million for Police Misconduct

Number "dwarfs" four other mid-sized cities combined.


MuckRock, an investigative website that specializes in open-records requests, says Philadelphia has paid more than $40 million to settle nearly 600 police misconduct suits since 2009.

Sound like a lot? The folks at MuckRock think so.

“The numbers dwarf comparable statistics in other major cities for which MuckRock obtained the same data,” MuckRock reported. “For example, the cities of Indianapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, and Austin settled or lost a combined 122 police misconduct cases — compared to 586 cases in Philadelphia.”

We’re not sure if that’s a valid comparison; Philadelphia is roughly 600,000 residents bigger than San Jose, the biggest city on that list. On the other hand, thank God we’re not New York, either, which paid $428 million — 10 times as much as Philly — during the same time period.

In its records request for Philly, MuckRock reports: “We determined that 1,223 …  cases represented police misconduct lawsuits. Of those, the city settled 584 and lost two, roughly 48 percent, at an average of $69,401 per lawsuit.” The two biggest settlements, for $2.5 million apiece, involved police-involved shootings. There were also two racial profiling settlements, for $14,500 apiece.

What’s cool? MuckRock invites you to download the spreadsheet of lawsuits and see if you can turn up any patterns the public should know about.

(Hat Tip: Billy Penn)