Police Misconduct Payouts in the city of Los Angeles 2010-2020

Earlier this year, FiveThirtyEight published a story titled “Cities Spend Millions On Police Misconduct Every Year. Here’s Why It’s So Difficult to Hold Departments Accountable,” which details payouts made by different cities for police misconduct. They also uploaded the original data collected through FOIA requests sent by journalists. I sifted through the dataset and decided to focus on data from the city of Los Angeles.

In this project, I used data collected by FiveThirtyEight to create data visualizations for settlements paid for police misconduct in the city of Los Angeles from 2010 to 2020.

The graphic provides an overview for all the reported settlements (including claims and lawsuits) for police misconduct from 2010 to 2020. It also gives insights on the payment amount, purpose, time and parties involved.

The largest settlement occurred in January 2016, when the city paid $16.7 million to Kash Delano Register, who were wrongfully convicted and released after 34 years in custody. The city also paid Bruce Lisker $7.6 million in the same month for the same reason.

It is worth noting that the time these compensations were made does not reflect when the incident happened. For example, the second largest settlement, $15 million, were paid to Rohayent Gomez Eriza in 2016 after him being shot by a police officer who mistook a pellet gun for a real firearm six years ago. Similarly, a man paralyzed in LAPD shooting got $5.7 million one decade later - also in January 2016. The four cases mentioned above involved $46.1 million in total, making up 59.1% of the police misconduct payouts that year.

*Note: data before 2016 are missing case close dates, which are all reflected as Jan. 1 in this visualization.

This graphic shows the case count and sum of payout by years. Both the case count and money involved topped in 2016, which had 112 police misconduct settlements that mounted to $78 million.

The third graphic shows the settlements by different allegation types. You can search in the table by key words or sort the table by the amount of money paid in each year (or in total).

A sort by grand total found that "False Arrest/Detention/Imprisonment," "Retaliation" and "Wrongful Death - Officer Involved Shooting" are three most costly allegations.

Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think.

Email me at karensiqiwang@gmail.com