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In Last 2 Years, Minneapolis Added $51M To Fund Covering Police Conduct Settlements

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- WCCO has learned the City of Minneapolis this year added tens of millions of dollars to a fund to cover police conduct settlements. Last year the city added $27 million to pay the family of George Floyd. In this year's budget, we're told the city added $24 million to cover police misconduct claims.

The latest settlement went to journalist Linda Tirado.

"It's been two years and I still wake up wondering what the hell is wrong with my face," journalist Linda Tirado said.

Tirado traveled to Minneapolis to cover the unrest following the police murder of George Floyd. While on assignment, she claims police struck her in the face with a foam bullet, leaving her blind in her left eye. Now the city of Minneapolis is paying her $600,000 to settle her lawsuit.

"It'll help, it'll help a lot, but they do expect my lifetime medical care to add up to substantially more than what the settlement will cover," Tirado said.

She regrets it's Minneapolis residents that foot the bill for her settlement.

"I think that's one of the most frustrating parts of this process, feeling like I am becoming a burden on these taxpayers when all I wanted to do was report the story," Tirado said.

The city is self-insured. So settlements are paid from the self-insurance fund. It covers things like medical, dental, workers comp, general liability and police conduct settlements. The city moved $24 million from the general fund into this fund this year just to cover settlements over alleged misconduct.

So far this year the city has paid $7.2 million in settlements to nine people who claimed they were hurt by police actions. There's at least another $1.7 million pending in proposed legal fees. The city assumes no liability when it settles.

There are a several other pending police conduct lawsuits, one with a demand for $10 million.

"I am so sorry that you have been through. This is a city that was terrorized, they went through so much and now they're being asked to shoulder the burden of all of these settlements as well," Tirado said.

The city declined to comment on this story.

WCCO expects a lawsuit to be filed soon over former officer Derek Chauvin's conduct with a teenager. He pleaded guilty to violating the teen's civil rights when he held him down in 2017.

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