Legal Aid Society


NYPD Misconduct Suits Cost Taxpayers Over $121 Million in 2022

The Legal Aid Society released an analysis of City data revealing payouts of over $121 million in lawsuits alleging police misconduct for 2022, the highest total in at least five years, and almost $34 million more than all of 2021, as reported by The New York Times.

Total payouts for police misconduct are likely to be substantially higher because these data do not account for matters that were settled with the New York City Comptroller’s office prior to formal litigation.

One of the most notable payouts in 2022 was a $135,000 settlement involving NYPD officers Adonis Long and Shimul Saha. Body worn camera footage secured and released by Legal Aid showed the officers punching and pepper spraying an unhoused man in the face and dragging him from a subway car. According to the lawsuit, the officers then made false claims to have the man charged with felony assault.

“Rampant NYPD misconduct continues to cost New Yorkers tens of millions of dollars each year, and Commissioner Keechant Sewell’s entrenched resistance to meaningful accountability means many of the officers involved in these lawsuits likely received a mere slap on the wrist, if any discipline at all,” said Maggie Hadley, a legal fellow with the Criminal Defense Practice’s Special Litigation Unit at The Legal Aid Society“Officers who commit egregious or persistent acts of misconduct should not wear a badge or carry a gun, and the Department’s continued refusal to hold problematic officers accountable only perpetuates the culture of impunity that thrives at precincts throughout New York City.”