[Los Angles Police Department (LAPD) Los Angeles Times Cmdr. Michael Hyams Kash Delano Register Bruce Lisker LAPD Foothill Division]
The Los Angles Police Department (LAPD) doled out almost $81 million in the last fiscal year to settle lawsuits, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Two of the settlements amounted to approximately $24 million for men who were wrongly convicted of murder and spent more than 25 years behind bars.
“It is a few cases that create the most liability” Cmdr. Michael Hyams said. “It is not hundreds of cases.”
With 343 homicides in 2017, Baltimore “had the highest murder rate in its history, and by far the highest among the nation’s 30 largest cities,” according to The New York Times 1-17-18
Kash Delano Register received the largest payout of $16.7 million dollars, after spending more than 34 years in prison, alleging wrongful conviction of armed robbery and murder in 1979.
Bruce Lisker was paid $7.6 million to settle his claim after being released. A federal judge ruled that key evidence, provided by LAPD detectives and used by prosecutors, was false.
Lisker’s mother was killed in 1983, and a bloody shoe print was left at the scene. Lisker was convicted and spent more than 26 years in prison. In a hearing challenging Lisker’s conviction, an FBI expert testified that the print left by the shoe was not his.
“The LAPD was the defendant in Lisker’s lawsuit because the law gives immunity to prosecutors from civil law suits over how they handle cases,” the Times said.
Since taking the cases to trial could prove more costly, the LA city lawyers recommended the council approve both deals, the article noted.
In addition, $24 million dollars went to a boy left paralyzed after being shot by officers, and $5.7 million was awarded in a trial to a man who was shot when officers mistook his cell phone for a gun.
Nearly $10 million in payouts involved employment cases. LAPD Foothill Division detectives alleged they were passed over for positions and overtime because of racial discrimination. They received a $2.5 million settlement. A former motorcycle cop was awarded nearly $1 million after he alleged retaliation from the LAPD because he refused to participate in an illegal ticket quota system.
The City of Los Angles has borrowed $70 million dollars this year to avoid having to tap into the city’s emergency reserve funds.
Hyams said the city is trying to resolve cases more quickly, hoping to reduce the size of settlements.
Over the past five years the department has spent more than $215 million in litigation costs, including judgments and settlements.