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Decade of Bad Busts by Authorities Costs New York City $305 Million

May 06, 2010  | 

New York City has shelled out $305 million in the last 10 years to settle claims of false arrest, wrongful conviction and excessive force by cops, the Daily News has learned.

The number of such suits has been rising steadily in the last decade and hit a high of 1,800 last year—possibly because of the recession.

That could mean more whopping payouts down the line—and if one trend continues, plaintiffs suing in the Bronx will get more money than in other boroughs.

The biggest settlements go to excessive-force victims like police sodomy victim Abner Louima, who got $7 million, and those who are exonerated after years behind bars.

But even those who don't go farther than Rikers can rake in big bucks, like 52 anti-war protesters who scored a $2 million settlement.

Federal suits against the city account for more than half the total, according to data provided to The News by the Law Department.

Top 10 payouts for wrongful prosecution, false arrest and excessive force over the past decade:

Franklyn Waldron: $8 million in 2004. Brooklyn handyman was paralyzed when he was shot by Officer Eusebio Perez in 1999.

Abner Louima: $7.1 million in 2001. Beaten and sodomized by cops in Brooklyn's 70th Precinct statinhouse in 1997.

Wilson Ramos: $6 million in 2009. Accidentally shot in the head and paralyzed by cops while drinking a soda on a Bronx street in 2000.

Sami Leka: $3.1 million in 2008. After spending 12 years in prison for the 1988 shooting of a Brooklyn man, his conviction was tossed in 2001 because prosecutors withheld evidence.

Salimata Sanfo: $3 million in 2006. Widow of African immigrant Ousmane Zongo, who was shot dead by cops during a May 2003 raid on a Chelsea warehouse.

Colin Warner: $2.7 million in 2009. Spent 21 years in prison for the 1980 shooting of a teen outside Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School for a crime he was finally cleared of committing.

Patrick Dorismond: $2.25 million in 2003. Unarmed security guard shot dead outside a Manhattan bar by a detective in 2000.

Sarah Kunstler and others: $2 million in 2008. Payout to 52 anti-war protesters arrested in 2003 outside the Manhattan offices of military contractor.

Phyllis Clayburne: $2 million in 2007. Mother of unarmed Brooklyn teen Timothy Stansbury, fatally shot by cops in 2004.

Olmedo Hidalgo: $2 million in 2009. Spent nearly 14 years in prison before being cleared in the 1990 shooting of a bouncer at the Palladium.

Read Full Story at NYDailyNews.com


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