Insurers Will Pick Up Tab For Police Brutality in St. Paul
This is an interesting policy question: Should cities be allowed to insure themselves against claims of police brutality? The City of St. Paul agreed to host the Republican National Convention on the condition that Republican Party arranged "to buy insurance covering up to $10 million in damages and unlimited legal costs for law enforcement officials accused of brutality, violating civil rights and other misconduct." Private donations were used to purchase the insurance.
The plus side of the agreement is obvious: taxpayers won't have to pay damages resulting from police misconduct. But the downside, while less obvious, is troubling: [more...]
[S]ome critics say the agreement has only encouraged police to use aggressive tactics knowing they won't have to pay damages. "It's an extraordinary agreement. Now the police have nothing to hold them back from egregious behavior," said Michelle Gross, who leads Communities United Against Police Brutality.
Taxpayers stuck with a huge bill have some incentive to hold public officials accountable for police brutality at the next election. Insurers don't have that power.
Of course, some municipalities routinely insure themselves against police misconduct. Should such insurance agreements be prohibited as a matter of public policy?
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