Over the last four years, police misconduct lawsuits within Philadelphia have spiked. Over 600 cases have been settled, resulting in close to $40 million in payments. According to MuckRock, an organization which helps individuals in filing governmental requests for information through the Freedom of Information Act, the largest settlements have involved police related shootings. Compared to other major cities such as San Francisco and Austin, Philadelphia has settled five times as many Police misconduct cases. Most common were cases involving assault and excessive force. Shooting related cases lead to the bulk share of the dollars settled; over $14 million dollars have been paid out to these victims and their families.
The biggest specific payout involved a shooting where police thought a man was intruding a building in which he lived. The family settled for $ 2.5 million dollars. Settlements continue to increase as the year progresses. In a highly controversial case in 1999 which involved the shooting and death of a male individual, the case was settled for $ 712,000 dollars. Recently in February a case was settled for $200,000 involving a man who was brutally beaten by police prior to his arrest which was also not warranted. The man broke his orbital bone, had lacerations on his face and was bleeding badly. Video surveillance displayed evidence that thus man was falsely arrested.