If you want to find out the truth, sometimes all you have to do is follow the money. This concept works in more ways than one would probably expect, including tracking the severity of police wrongdoings and a lack of accountability.

Following a report on the St. Louis Police Department, it was found by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the department has paid $4.7 million in settlements to the families of victims since 2010. 

“In my considerable experience, police departments do not settle, and certainly don’t settle for a lot of money, unless there is clear evidence of liability, clear evidence the shooting was unjustified,” Jon Loevy, from the Chicago firm Loevy & Loevy, told the Post-Dispatch. “Anything short of that and they decline to settle.

Two of the cases the report focused on were the April 2013 death of Cary Ball, who was shot 21 times, resulted in his family receiving $400,000 and Normane Bennett’s family was awarded $212,500 after he was shot during a botched arrest in 2010.

In many of the cases where settlements were reached, investigations into the altercations didn’t come until much later, if at all. But one has to wonder where the burden of guilt lies if the department is willing to settle to avoid going to court if possible.

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