The Civil Writer Magazine

When cities settle cases of inappropriate or illegal force by police officers, they pay out a lot. Chicago alone has paid out more than half a billion dollars since 2004. If police pay their own liability insurance to spread the risk and cost with a premium and co-pay of 1% of the court appointed value for an inappropriate killing police officers might make better decisions in non-life threatening situations. A life, especially a Black life, seems to carry no value being they are frequently shot and killed. Paying a premium and co-pay of 1% of the court appointed judgement should not affect the safety and wellbeing of the police officers but will place a mental value on black lives taken because of an officer's failure to use good judgment. Although an insurance policy cannot bring a life back it can provoke better decision making. Earlier this month, Brooklyn resident Oliver Wiggins received a $1 million settlement after NYPD officers crashed into his car and then tried to blame him for the accident by falsely accusing him of driving while intoxicated. That officer would have been liable for $10,000.

In 2015, the family of Eric Garner reached a settlement for $5.9 million after police applied a banned chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes outside a convenience store on Staten Island. That officer would have been liable for $50,000. The message is clear...think.

The officers involved in both incidents were free of any financial liability regardless of jail time for one police officer.