Will City Settle Eric Garner Case for $75M?

Is it better to settle? NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer has been busy shoveling millions of dollars into settling lawsuits that overtime were found to lack the “liberty and justice for all” they should have. While wrongful convictions, years of prison time, and even accidental deaths have occurred as a result of these oversights, most families go for the money as oppose to holding out for any change in law, policies or any lasting effect on reality. With that said, the Eric Garner Family Braces as NYC Spends 732 Million on Cases It Got Wrong. Will they go for the money too?

Take note of some of the lawsuits actually settled from NYC Spends 732 Million on Cases It Got Wrong: The famed “Central Park 5” case flushing out for $40 million. A $2.25 million settlement for Jerome Murdough age 56, the Marine who died in a mental observation unit in Rikers Island prison. Wrongfully convicted of murder, 3 half-brothers received a $17 mill deal from the city. There was also $6.5 million for the man who spent 23 years behind the wall before being exonerated (yikes).

With this money floating ‘for justice’ it’s understandable the Eric Garner Family Braces as NYC Spends 732 Million on Cases It Got Wrong, following their $75 million lawsuit for what they maintain was the wrongful murder of Eric Garner by NYPD police last summer. Scott Stringer says the act of NYC Spends 732 Million on Cases It Got Wrong is an attempt to do something about the rising cost of city lawsuits (up $208 million from last year) as much as they are a ‘cash out early’ strategy:

“All these recent settlements were unusual because they were made before any lawsuit had ever been filed, part of an aggressive push by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to quickly dispense with civil rights cases that otherwise could drag on for years in the courts and cost millions in legal fees.”

Many note though that the settlements also allow the city to ‘get away’ with not admitting any wrongdoing, not changing any policy, and not having to put certain details out to the public. The comptroller concludes, “the more money we can save the city on claims and settlements, the more we will have to spend on affordable housing, education and social services.” True. But the Garner’s were staunch in their mission of seeing policy changes in the NYPD following the infamous choke hold homicide:

“Garner’s relatives have said they did not want to settle the case — they want to push for a change in police policy. That won’t happen with a pre-litigation settlement.”

It’s reported most people ‘take the money’ because they don’t believe any real change will ever happen. What would a $75 million settlement mean for the Garner family if not also for the #BlackLivesMatter inspired movement? Does it matter? Is it just their business whether they take the money or not? Do you believe real change is an overrated mission?

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