We identified 217 publicly reported settlements that resulted in policy changes and over $2,340,780,094.00 in monetary compensation to victims.

Data last updated July 17, 2023.

Location Year Description Outcome
Williamson County, Texas 2021

In December 2021, Williamson County officials reached a $5 million settlement with the family of Javier Amber, a 40-year-old Black man who was killed during an arrest in 2019.

In March 2019, Amber was pulled over by Williamson County police officers following a car chase.  It was alleged that Amber failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic. When two police officers apprehended him, they tased him several times, which led to his death later that night.  Amber claimed he was sick and that he could not breathe while the officers were tasing him. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit following his death, which was settled by the city in December 2021.

Chicago, Illinois 2021

In December 2021, the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously voted to pay $2.9 million dollars to Anjanette Young, a Black woman whose home was wrongfully raided in February 2019.

In February 2019, 13 Chicago police officers, who were acting on a bad tip that a man with an illegal firearm lived in Young’s home, raided her house, and handcuffed her while she was getting ready for bed, forcing her to stand naked while they searched her home. Following the incident, Young filed a lawsuit against the city and the officers for failing to independently verify the place to be searched and for wrongfully entering her home. Young’s attorney agreed to settle the case for $2.9 million and, amid the uproar of the case, new raid policies were implemented requiring a department member who is at the rank of lieutenant or higher to be present, as well as a female department member when warrants are being served.

Policy changes
Columbus, Ohio 2021

In December 2021, the City of Columbus agreed to pay $5.75 million to 32 plaintiffs who alleged that police officers used excessive force against them during social justice protests in the summer of 2020.

The plaintiffs were among many who were protesting police violence in May 2020. During the protests, the police made arrests and used excessive force, such as pepper spray, tear gas, and wooden batons, against protesters, resulting in some of the plaintiffs sustaining significant injuries. The injured protesters filed a lawsuit in July 2020, and the city reached a settlement with the 32 plaintiffs in December 2021, agreeing to pay $5.75 million to be divided among them. Additionally, the city agreed to implement a permanent injunction barring Columbus police officers from using forms of nonlethal force against nonviolent protesters.

Policy changes
San Francisco, California 2021

In December 2021, the City of San Francisco agreed to pay $2.5 million to Judy O’Neil, the mother of Keita O’Neil who was killed by a San Francisco Police Department officer during a chase.

On December 1st, 2017, Keita O’Neil was shot and killed by former officer Chris Samayoa, who was pursuing O’Neil for an alleged unarmed carjacking. After Keita’s death, Judy O’Neil filed a civil lawsuit against the city, alleging that Samayoa had used excessive force that resulted in her son’s death. Four years later, the City of San Francisco agreed to pay Judy O’Neil $2.5 million. Samayoa is currently facing charges for manslaughter, among others, for the death of Keita O’Neil.

Santa Clara, California 2021

In December 2021, a federal jury awarded ordered the City of Santa Clara to pay $500,000 to Omar Gomez, a man who was shot and wounded by a Santa Clara police officer during a traffic stop in 2017.

Santa Clara officer Jordan Fachko stopped Gomez while trying to find a vehicle that was reported stolen. The situation escalated when Fachko allegedly thought Gomez was attempting to run him over, prompting Officer Fachko to shoot and wound Gomez. Following the encounter, Gomez filed a lawsuit alleging that Fachko had used excessive force and was negligent. A federal jury found that Fachko’s life was in no way threatened during the interaction and awarded Gomez $500,000.

Clovis, California 2021

In March 2020, Bryon Espinosa filed a lawsuit against the City of Clovis alleging that city police officers violated his civil rights by assaulting him and using excessive force during a house search. In December 2021, city officials agreed to pay Espinosa $720,000 to settle the case.

In December 2021, city officials agreed to pay Espinosa $720,000 to settle the case.

In January 2019, during a home investigation, officer Timothy Dronek took Espinosa to the ground while handcuffed, causing Espinosa to dislocate his right hip and suffer fractures in parts of his leg. In December 2021, the City of Clovis agreed to settle the case for $720,000.

Austin, Texas 2021

Michael Yeager, a California man who was falsely arrested by Austin police officers, filed a lawsuit in December 2019 against the City of Austin. In December 2021, city officials agreed to settle the case for $99,000.

In December 2018, Yeager was visiting his girlfriend in Austin when they were robbed. When police officers arrived, the lawsuit alleges that officer Dusty Jester slammed Yeager to the ground and used a stun gun on him and then falsely arrested him. Yeager sustained several injuries, including a concussion, broken nose, and separated shoulder. He filed a lawsuit for wrongful arrest and excessive force against the city in 2019. Two years later, city officials decided to settle the case for $99,000.

Seattle, Washington 2021

The family of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Black woman killed by Seattle police officers in 2017, filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle. In early December 2021, city officials agreed to settle the case with her family for $3.5 million.

In June 2017, two Seattle police officers were responding to Lyles’ 911 call to report a burglary. Officers alleged that she had staged the burglary and that she suddenly lunged at them with a knife, prompting them to fatally shoot her with her children nearby. Following her death, family members filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that the officers had failed to use nonlethal force to disarm Lyles. After a state Court of Appeals agreed with the Lyles’ family, the city settled the case for $3.5 million.

Pasadena, California 2021

The City of Pasadena has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle the case of a Black man fatally shot by a police officer while trying to flee a traffic stop last year.

In 2020, Anthony McClain, a father of three children, was shot and killed during a traffic stop. McClain was a passenger in a car that the Pasadena police stopped for not having a front license plate. Officer Edwin Dumaguindin asked McClain to step out of the vehicle and McClain ran away. Officers claim that McClain grabbed a gun from his waistband and looked back toward the officer before being shot twice. However, no weapon was found on McClain, but a gun was discovered across the street. The $7.5 million will go to McClain’s three children.

Chicago, Illinois 2018 - 2021

The Chicago City Council agreed to pay $3 million in settlements for various lawsuits alleging misconduct by which accused Chicago Police officers of misconduct.

One case involved a high-speed police chase that led to a women’s death in 2018. Another resulted in a $175,000 payment to Lavelle Taylor, who accused Chicago Police Detective James O’Brien of framing him for a 1996 murder that was actually committed by Taylor’s brother.

Aurora, Colorado 1900 - 2021

The City of Aurora will pay $15 million to the family of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old-man who was killed in a confrontation with Aurora police, to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit over his death.

In 2019, Elijah McClain was approached by police after they received a call that McClain “looked sketchy.” During the confrontation with police, McClain was put into a chokehold and paramedics injected McClain with ketamine, a powerful sedative, which resulted him going into cardiac arrest. In the following days, McClain was put on life support and then died. McClain was unarmed.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2021

The family of Walter Wallace, a Black man killed by Philadelphia police in 2020, has been awarded $2.5 million from the city.

In addition to accepting the settlement funds, Walter Wallace’s family included a list of policy change demands, which were accepted in the legally binding settlement. These demands include that the City of Philadelphia purchase tasers for all patrol officers, that all officers be required to wear tasers while they are in uniform, and that the city provide necessary training to ensure that officers can safely operate tasers.

Policy changes
Contra Costa County, California 2021

The family of a mentally ill man who was shot nine times by a California law enforcement officer has been awarded $4.9 million dollars nearly three years after the fatal shooting, which took place in the wealthy San Francisco suburb of Danville.

Danville contracts with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to provide police services. Officer Andrew Hall was convicted in October of 2021 of felony assault with a firearm in Laudemer Arboleda’s death. This was the first guilty verdict of felony assault by an officer in Contra Costa County, a county just east of San Francisco. Hall faces up to 17 years in prison.

Boston, Massachusetts 2021

The City of Boston will pay $1.3 million dollars to a man who was arrested by Boston police for intoxication but who was actually experiencing a stroke.

Police arrested Al Copeland, a 64-year-old Black man, on the belief he was slumped in his car and intoxicated.

Copeland was arrested and taken to a holding cell. During his detainment, Copeland lost his balance and banged his head on the wall. It was not until five hours into his detainment that officers realized Copeland’s health was in danger, he was then sent to a hospital. Police claimed that they smelled alcohol on him, but Copeland contends that he has not had a drink since 1995. Doctors at the hospital confirmed that no alcohol or drugs were in Copeland’s system that night. Despite an internal investigation into the incident, no disciplinary actions have been taken.

Fairfax County, Virginia 2021

A former D.C. firefighter, Elon Wilson, will receive $390,000 from Fairfax County to settle the federal lawsuit he filed in July after being wrongfully arrested.

Elon Wilson, now 27 years old, was pulled over and arrested by then-officer Jonathan Freitag in April of 2018. Freitag found a large quantity of oxycodone and two handguns in the car. Wilson claimed that these items were not his. Wilson was fired from the fire department, faced a ten-year minimum sentence, pled guilty, and sentenced to three years and one month in July of 2019. Internal investigations into Freitag’s traffic stops showed that he made a number of “pretextual” traffic stops, where an officer uses a false reason to pull someone over and search or arrest them. No criminal charges were filed against Freitag. In April of 2020, Freitag was arrested after crashing his car into another vehicle while under the influence and fleeing the scene. That case is pending. Wilson was released from prison after serving 21 months of his sentence.

Utica, New York 2021

Kerwin Taylor filed a claim against the city alleging than an officer used excessive force during an encounter with him in 2020. The claim was settled by the City of Utica in September 2021 for $150,000.

Taylor alleged that Officer Matthew Felitto had kicked him multiple times in the head while he was restrained in the back of Felitto’s police van. After body camera footage was taken from officers, the city agreed to settle the case with Taylor for $150,000.

Loveland, Colorado 2021

Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia, filed a lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department after suffering multiple injuries when being forcibly detained by two police officers. The city settled her case for $3 million in September 2021.

The civil case, filed following her arrest in June 2020, alleged that Loveland police officers used excessive force when detaining Ms. Garner, who had been accused of leaving a Walmart without paying for her items. Following her arrest, police officers were seen mocking her arrest and neglecting to give her medical attention for her fractured arm, dislocated shoulder, and sustained bruises from the arrest. Garner’s case is one of several recent allegations of the Loveland Department using excessive force in the last year.

Worcester, Massachusetts 2021

Officers Andrew Harris and Spencer Tatum filed a lawsuit against the Worcester Police Department in 1994 over discriminatory practices. In September 2021, the City of Worcester agreed to pay $1.5 million and follow an affirmative action plan.

Harris and Tatum are Black former officers who filed the lawsuit back in 1994, alleging that Worcester used discriminatory practices when promoting officers within the department, favoring the interests of White officers over minority officers. Both Black officers had passed the sergeant’s exam in the early 1990s but were passed over for promotions. After almost three decades of litigation, the city agreed to pay $1.5 million, which includes retirement payment for Tatum. Harris passed away before the case was settled.

Policy changes
Austin, Texas 2021

The parents of Jason Roque, a 20-year-old man, filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin and Officer James Harvel after Harvel fatally shot their son. In September 2021, the Austin City Council agreed to pay $2.25 million to the Roque family.

The lawsuit alleged that Harvel fatally shot Roque in September 2017 when responding to a 911 call where Roque was having a mental health crisis. The Austin City Council reached a settlement of $2.25 million with the Roque family after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed Harvel did not qualify for immunity for the second and third shot he fired at Roque.

Bakersfield, California 2021

In order to settle a California Department of Justice investigation related to the Bakersfield Police Department’s use of excessive force, in August 2021, the City of Bakersfield agreed to implement revisions to the police department’s use-of-force guidance, training, and investigations.

Beginning in 2016, the state’s attorney general office investigated allegations that the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office consistently used excessive force. No specific incidents have been publicly mentioned, but the California Department of Justice concluded that BPD had violated the 4th and 5th amendment rights of residents, as a number of officers engaged in forms of excessive force, including fatal shootings, police canine attacks, and discriminatory traffic stops. The consent decree requires the police department to reform its policies related to excessive force, which will be overseen by an independent monitor.

Policy changes
Pleasanton, California 2021

Jacob Bauer’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Pleasanton Police Department in 2019 alleging that police officers had violated Bauer’s constitutional rights and used excessive force, resulting in Bauer’s death. The City of Pleasanton settled the case for $5.9 million.

Jacob Bauer, a 38-year-old man struggling with mental illness, died on August 1, 2018, after being detained by Pleasanton police officers outside a grocery store. During the interaction, Bauer began resisting, which led officers to handcuff him, tase him, and beat him with their hands and batons. The settlement reached by the city and Bauer’s parents stipulates that the officers involved admit no fault or liability for Bauer’s death, and that the lawsuit be permanently closed in exchange for $5.9 million and a private meeting with Department leadership.

Fontana, California 2021

The parents of Daverion Kinard filed a lawsuit against the Fontana Police Department, alleging that their son was fatally shot by a police officer during an attempt to arrest him. In August 2021, the City of Fontana agreed to pay the Kinard family $1 million to settle the case.

The lawsuit was filed following the fatal shooting of Daverion Kinard, who was shot by Officer Johnny Tuitavake after a foot pursuit in February 2021. After the Kinard family lawsuit was settled, another suit was filed in August 2021 against the same officer, alleging that he had used excessive force on Juan Gonzalez during an altercation in October 2020. Gonzalez’s lawsuit is currently in litigation.

Des Moines, Iowa 2021

In August 2021, in order to settle a lawsuit arising out of protests at the Iowa State Capitol in the summer of 2020 the state agreed to pay protesters $70,000 and no longer ban them from entering the Capitol building.

Following their arrests at the Capitol building during a protest against felon disenfranchisement, five protestors sued Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens, alleging that banning them from the Capitol grounds was a violation of their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit was settled after a US District Court judge issued an order preventing the enforcement of the ban. The protesters' bans were lifted, they received $70,000, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety agreed to train its officers assigned to the Capitol on First Amendment rights of protestors.

Policy changes
Southaven, Mississippi 2021

The family of Troy Goode filed a lawsuit against the Southaven Police Department following his death in 2015 after being held in custody. The City of Southaven reached an agreement with the family in July 2021.

Goode’s family claims that his death was caused by police officers when they tased him, tied him with restraints, and put him on his stomach on a stretcher, where he suffocated to death because of the pressure on his lungs. The city announced in July that they had reached an undisclosed agreement with Troy Goode’s family.

Prince George's County, Maryland 2021

In July 2021, Prince George’s County officials agreed to pay a group of Black and Latino officers $2.3 million to settle a workplace discrimination and harassment lawsuit they brought against the police department in December 2018.

Members of the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association and the United Black Police Officers Association filed a lawsuit against Prince George’s County Police Department alleging that the department does not properly handle allegations of discrimination or misconduct by White officers. The allegations detail several instances of racism towards community members and fellow officers. The agreement requires the department to implement changes to disciplinary procedures and equal employment opportunity policies.

Policy changes

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