In 2011, the city of Philadelphia paid out $13 million to people alleging harm from police, largely to alleged victims of excessive use of force. Critics say that the city lacks meaningful oversight of police misconduct and, instead of trying to prevent it, treats payments due to the behavior like a cost of doing business. The city, however, doesn’t see a problem, contending that recession-weary Philadelphians and greedy lawyers are suing the city for a paycheck.
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