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The city of Chicago is racking up quite a bill from its police officers in court, and it's a small group that seems to be repeatedly getting into trouble.

An investigation by the Chicago Tribune found that 124 of Chicago's 12,000 officers are responsible for about $34 million in civil judgments against the city since 2009.

Much of that money comes from high-profile settlements the city has made in recent years to the victims of police brutality and wrongful deaths. The city recently gave the family of Laquan McDonald $5 million after his 2012 shooting death was caught on camera, while the family of Rekia Boyd, who was also killed by police in 2012, received $4.5 million.

But in addition to those major settlements, more minor cases resulting from charges of misconduct and racism from a small group of officers adds up to a lot of money that comes out of taxpayer funds.


The Tribune investigation highlighted Officer Sean Campbell, as well as some of his partners, who they say is tied for being named in the second-most number of lawsuits settled against the city. Since 2009, the city has settled seven lawsuits involving Campbell, including allegations he and his partners used racial slurs, and choked or hit suspects. During that six-year period, he has never been disciplined.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Tribune that the city needs to do more to root out bad officers. The U.S. Department of Justice would seem to agree, as the federal agency announced last month it would be opening a probe into the department's civil rights record.


Looks like they've got 124 good places to start.