The Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Louis Police Department has spent only $4.7 million to settle families of police victims since 2010.
According to the report, the seven digits were used by the department to settle about 44 police cases, including fatal shootings, wrongful imprisonment and alleging injuries.
The report highlighted that in 2013, the city spent $900,000 to settle the family of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot by a police officer Jason Stockley, even though he was unarmed and pleaded for his life.
Other settlements included the cases of Cary Ball, an unarmed black man on whom police rained 21 bullets, and Normane Bennett, who was also shot dead by police as he tried to run away for his life.
Ball’s family was however settled with a very small amount of money that was about $400,000, while Bannett’s family received $212, 500. It was like giving a cookie to a child to stop crying after you’ve taken away what he or she loved most.
Jon Loevy, a lawyer from the Loevy & Loevy firm in Chicago, said, “In my considerable experience, police departments do not settle, and certainly don’t settle for a lot of money, unless there is clear evidence of liability, clear evidence the shooting was unjustified”.
It seems like Police Departments all across the country now try to buy off victims of police brutality and members of their families especially when it comes to black communities. Still those responsible are not punished and no amount of money can bring back people’s lives.
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