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LA has paid millions to families of people shot by police. It has to borrow to keep up.by Mike Denison
Issues

Los Angeles has spent millions of dollars on settling lawsuits against it, including many by families of people shot and killed by police.

Those payments are starting to add up, and the city opted to borrow $70 million to pay up without dipping into its emergency fund, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The city normally reserves $60 million a year for lawsuit payouts, but payouts are projected to hit $135 million in this fiscal year. 

By the numbers

  • In December, the city paid $8 million to end lawsuits against city police for shooting three unarmed men, among the highest payouts in recent city history.
  • In August, the city spent $200 million to settle a lawsuit with a disability-rights group, paying about $20 million a year. 
  • Last fiscal year, the city's legal fees totaled $110 million. 

"We're going to be in the same boat next fiscal year ... it's every year."

Mitchell Englander, city councilman

City attorney Mike Feuer said the payouts are getting bigger because juries are more skeptical of police, and other lawsuits are the result of the city delaying necessary spending on infrastructure.

Civil rights activist Shaun King was saddened by the news.

Others pinned the payouts on "police misconduct."

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