$662 Million: Chicago’s Bill for Police Misconduct Just Since 2004

Do you have to wonder why the city is in the financial mess that it is? How Chicago racked up a $662 million police misconduct bill – CBS News

I don’t know how to summarize this and make sense. It is a compendium of misdeeds going back decades. And while the corporation council is trying to reduce the costs – by settling cases that deserve it and fighting the frivolous ones – there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

There’s no single answer, but Alderman Howard Brookins Jr., who’s required to approve settlements exceeding $100,000 as part of his city council duties, offers one explanation. “If you were seen going after police, you were seen as being for crime,” he says. “It’s a whole culture of not wanting to step on their toes. … Nothing happened to the police officers even after they got a big judgment against them so it appeared to be like Monopoly money.”

Except it isn’t Monopoly money. It is taxpayer’s money. Which I suppose is why sales tax is more than 10 percent, and property taxes are high. (I think Rahm is planning for them to be higher.) And the city is still a mess financially.

And things aren’t changing. (Why did it take a year to release the video in the McDonald shooting?) Because, as one victim of police misconduct noted, “The system is designed to protect itself.” Multi-million dollar awards are handed out, and the cops responsible are still on the job. Nothing changes.

UPDATE: Here is a look at the state of Chicago finances. City awaits help from Springfield, borrows $220 million for pension payments – Chicago Tribune