Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:47 pm
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)–New information on just how much recent lawsuits against the City of Tallahassee have cost taxpayers.
“When you total it up for five years, for all those 11 cases, all of which were in federal court, it’s right at a million dollars,” said Tallahassee City Attorney Lewis Shelley.
Those cases involve allegations of excessive force against the police department over the last year. Shelley says the city averages two lawsuits a year where they’ll hire outside attorneys to defend the city.
“We don’t think that’s a particular high number given the size of the police department giving the litigious nature of society nowadays.”
They could have to hire outside help if indeed the city is sued over the controversial arrest of suspect Christina West. She was arrested August 10.
She’s accused of driving her car off the road then crashing into a home in Killearn.
Video shows Christina West being slammed to the ground after police say she slipped out of her handcuffs.
The two officers were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Her arrest has caused police to review their use of force policy.
In a memorandum to all sworn personnel, acting police chief Tom Coe told officers to first use verbal commands and or verbal distraction techniques to control a situation when someone is resisting arrest. It also adds another person to the chain of command, a legal advisor that will review use of force reports and video.
“As a professional police organization our job is to make sure that everything we are doing is up to the standards that it can possibly be to, if we see a better way to do something we are going to change that,” said Tallahassee Police Officer David Northway