A recent article in San Jose Spotlight explored the financial costs of the 17 killings by San Jose police since 2003, finding they have cost taxpayers almost $7 million through several hefty settlements. Partner James McManis offered his thoughts on the issue, stating the “the only real remedy that a family has at that point is to bring a civil action.”
Jim explained that these civil suits against law enforcement are difficult to win since the law, the jurors, and occasionally the judges are sympathetic to police. He noted however that things may change since George Floyd’s death. He also explained that settlements often occur to avoid the attorneys’ fees which can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to an award, all on the public’s dime.
Regarding the issue of defunding the police, Jim says the focus should be on improving policing and cutting down taxpayer-funded awards for police killings. He says, “The point here is not just throwing money at the problem. The point here is figuring out what can we do to make for better police work.”
To read the full article, visit San Jose Spotlight.