The New York Police Department has received several lawsuits in the past year that could threaten the city. The city paid over $186.3 million in judgements related to lawsuits involving the NYPD just last year, Gothamist reports. Council member Peter Vallone fears that the number could reach $1 billion and “would bankrupt the city,” Vallone told the New York Post. Vallone worries that the number will continue to grow if a bill in legislation makes it easier to sue the police.
Several other lawsuits hit the NYPD last week after the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street on September 17. At a protest in Zuccotti Park, police used batons to move protesters from the area. Police also allegedly pushed and shoved protesters.
City council member Jumaane Williams became the victim of the mild police brutality when he would not get off a bench in the park. Even after Williams explained who he was and why he was there, police continued to push him down. Although a possible lawsuit from Williams is unclear, his spokesperson released a statement addressing the incident.
Council Member Williams was in Zuccotti Park to observe and ensure that the rights of protesters are being protected, something which he has done at multiple Occupy Wall Street actions without incident. In the midst of a police action involving one protester, two NYPD officers approached the Council Member and pushed him while he tried to explain his purpose at the park.
The bill, which Williams sponsors, will be discussed in a hearing next month.
By Tatiana Baez
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