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When Cops Violate Civil Rights, It's City Taxpayers Who Pay

Of $735 million in damages collected between 2006 and 2011, officers paid less than .02 percent.
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We know criminal justice won't be served in the case of Eric Garner, at least at the local level. A Staten Island grand jury made sure of that Wednesday by failing to indict Daniel Pantaleo of the NYPD, whose videotaped chokehold led to Garner's death in the eyes of a city medical examiner. But the case is far from over: a federal investigation is planned, and the family reportedly has filed notice that it will sue the city for $75 million, a great sum if a shallow solace.

The latter claim may only lead to yet another injustice in the case—this one against New York City taxpayers. Because if history is any guide, it's not Pantaleo himself who's likely to foot the bill for civil compensation, or even the NYPD as a whole, but rather city residents.