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Boston PD has paid out $36 million in 10 years to victims

May 20, 2015

With charges of police brutality and racial profiling against minorities by law enforcement officers at the forefront of the news, the Boston Police Department has forked over more than $36 million in the past 10 years in court awards and out-of-court agreements in personal injury cases including civil rights violations and property damage. The city released the information on May 15, 2015, which indicated that $10.4 million in claims were paid in out-of-court settlements while about $25.6 million was awarded in court cases.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh explained that nearly all of the cases happened prior to when he took office. Even so, the city is investigating any cases that were settled and the reasons behind these resolutions. He admitted that out-of-court settlements are sometimes necessary and can offer a better option than dragging a case through what can be a long and drawn-out process in the court system.

City documents revealed that the largest settlement was in the case of an Emerson College co-ed. Victoria Snelgrove was killed during the 2004 celebration of the Red Sox victory, and her family received $5 million. Two other individuals, who were also present at the same victory celebration, suffered injuries and were given $325,000 and $250,000, respectively. The family of David Woodman, who was killed during the celebration of the 2009 Celtics basketball win, was awarded $3 million. DNA resulted in the exoneration of Anthony Powell after a wrongful conviction involving rape in 1992. He won $3.25 million in a civil lawsuit.

The Boston Herald asked for the information due to the media attention on the racial tension between the police and local citizens. The names of Freddy Gray, Michael Brown and Eric Garner have been plastered across the news with the circumstances surrounding the deaths of each man hotly contested by many.

During any type of personal injury lawsuit, including police brutality, you might wonder if you should settle out of court or litigate the case. Our personal injury attorney can provide you with additional counsel and review your options with you.