Police misconduct lawsuits have cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars in payouts. The city of Detroit paid nearly $27 million between 2008 and 2015 as a result of police misconduct lawsuits, according to WXYZ-TV
Payouts ranged from $500 to more than $3 million, the station reported. It uncovered cases not previously disclosed by the city in a Freedom of Information Act request. Here are some of the larger payouts, according to the station.
$1.5 million to the family of Omari Dixson
In a 2008 case not previously disclosed, the city paid a $1.5 million settlement to the family of Omari Dixson, who was shot four times in the back by an off-duty police officer as the two men were sitting at a stoplight. The officer said Dixson pointed a gun at him when the two men argued and he opened fire.
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A witness at the scene reported that Dixson did not point the gun, according to the report from the station. Although the officer was not criminally charged, the city agreed to the settlement.
$520,000 to Robert Cole
In 2010, Detroit officers responding to a possible crime came across two dogs and called animal control for help. The animal control employee, Robert Cole, was later shot twice after arriving on the scene and police opened fire on the dogs. Cole received $520,000 from the city in a ruling by an arbitrator.
$250,000 to Craig Graves
Craig Graves was placed under arrest for drug possession the same year and was reportedly shot in the back by a police officer as he was lying face down on the ground. Graves reached a $250,000 settlement with the city.
$240,000 to Jason Vareen
Jason Vareen was awarded $240,000 from the city after he was arrested for suspected trespassing on his own property. While Vareen was handcuffed, an officer allegedly punched him in the head and struck him with a flashlight, accusing him of disorderly conduct. Vareen sued the police after a judge declared him not guilty.
Property owners in Inkster face a 6.45-mill property tax levy to help pay for a $1.4 million police misconduct settlement, according to the Detroit Free Press
. The one-time property tax levy amounts to an additional $180 for a home worth $55,000, the newspaper said.
The case involved Floyd Dent, a black resident, who was pulled over during a routine traffic stop in 2015, dragged out of the car, put in a chokehold, punched and shot with a stun gun.
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