The Cities Blog

Cop-suit payouts higher in Minneapolis than Baltimore

The city of Minneapolis paid out more money in police conduct lawsuits and judgments between 2011 and 2014 than the city of Baltimore.

According to data from the Minneapolis city attorney’s office and court records analyzed by MPR News, the city paid out more than $9.3 million during that time period. In the most recent tally in Baltimore, done in 2014, the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported the city spent $5.7 million in lawsuit settlements and judgments.

However, there are a few caveats. The data published by the Sun include payouts made between January of 2011 and September of 2014.  The MPR News total includes three extra months: October through December of 2014.

More than half the $9.3 million in Minneapolis payouts came from two cases.

In 2011, a federal court jury found two officers liable for the wrongful death of Dominic Felder, 27,  and ordered the city to pay $2.1 million in damages and lawyers’ fees. And in 2013, the city agreed to pay just over $3 million to settle a suit filed by the family of David Smith, 28, who died after being restrained by two officers.

The National Journal recently ranked several cities by how much they’ve paid in officer conduct lawsuits and judgments between 2011 and September of 2014.

According to that limited sample and data compiled by MPR News, Minneapolis ranks behind Chicago ($127.7 million), Los Angeles ($31.8 million) and Philadelphia ($28.2 million) and ranks ahead of Dallas ($8.1 million), San Jose ($7.3 million) and Indianapolis ($6.1 million) in the total amount of payouts.