The Other Price We Pay for Woke DA’s


Is the increase in police lawsuits costs indicative of more misconduct?

The payouts for police misconduct have been rising steadily in recent years in the United States.  Police officers are not perfect.  Bad cops sometimes slip through (especially since finding people to take the job is getting tougher).  Cops and victims make mistakes and occasionally the wrong person is arrested.  I’ve done that myself when a robbery victim made a misidentification.  It happens.

But it is not happening more.  If anything, it is happening less.   More video, facial recognition, lower arrest rates, and body cameras all point to fewer bad arrests.  Cops are not more violent or more corrupt than they used to be.  I could tell you that during my 25-year career with the NYPD, I saw a great improvement in professionalism, restraint, and corruption controls.  People can believe what they want, but I know that is true.

But lawsuits and payouts keep rising.  The New York Times reported that New York City paid out $135 million in police misconduct suits in 2022 alone.  Chicago had to pay $67 million in 2021. One of the causes for this is with the “woke” district attorneys that are gaining control in our major cities.  Many Soros-funded social justice warriors have no business in a prosecutor’s office.  Not only are they hurting their constituents by allowing crime to rise, but they are hurting taxpayers. 

Prosecutors are declining to draw up arrests at a rampant rate.  In Washington DC, 67% of police arrests are dropped.  In Los Angeles, George Gascon has dropped 46% of felony arrests.  The year before Larry Krasner took office in Philadelphia, the city paid out $10 million in police lawsuits.  Last year, that number was $20.7 million.  District Attorneys in New York have refused to prosecute large swaths of crimes. 

“I love perps!” – Larry Krasner

Across the country, in the wake of the George Floyd riots, prosecutors refused to charge thousands of protestors arrested by cops.  They continue to do so with the current anti-Israel protests.  The result is retaliatory lawsuits from the accused, which the cities rarely bother to even fight.

Some cases should not be drawn up.  I have brought complainants to the district attorney’s office that I had misgivings about, but which had to be pursued further.  That is the nature of the business.  But we are currently at a “decline prosecution” level that has no basis in reality. 

This is leaving police departments and the taxpayers who fund them open to lawsuits.  Cities generally settle these suits for small sums, but the bills add up.  New York City’s average payout has increased from $10,000 in 2018 to $25,0000 in 2023.  This number indicates the volume of “pay to go away” settlements.   

When a cop makes a valid arrest and the district attorney refuses to even write up the case, it is hard to defend in civil court.  There is no legal process to show the cop’s justification for arrest.


Naturally, police opponents in the media report increases in police lawsuit payouts as evidence of cops being out of control.  In reality, this issue does not indicate more police corruption.  This is a false correlation that for many media outlets is apparently too good to check.

This is also another example that elections have consequences.  As taxpayers we should be electing district attorneys who do their job, not advocates for criminals and chaos.  And for easy payouts.

Thanks for reading The Ops Desk.  Stay Safe!


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