MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has learned that the city of Minneapolis this year added tens of millions of dollars to a fund to cover police driving regulations. 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 final settlement went to journalist Linda Tirado.
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“It’s been two years and I still wake up wondering what’s wrong with my face,” said journalist Linda Tirado.
Tirado traveled to Minneapolis to cover the unrest following the police killing of George Floyd. During her mission, she claims the police hit her in the face with a foam ball, leaving her blind in her left eye. Now the city of Minneapolis is paying him $600,000 to settle his lawsuit.
“It will help, it will help a lot, but they expect my lifelong medical care to be way more than the settlement will cover,” Tirado said.
She regrets that it is the people of Minneapolis who foot the bill for her settlement.
“I think that’s one of the most frustrating parts of this process, feeling like I’m becoming a burden on these taxpayers when all I wanted to do was report the story,” Tirado said.
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The city is self-insured. Thus, the settlements are paid by the self-insurance fund. It covers things like medical, dental, workers compensation, general liability and police conduct regulations. The city transferred $24 million from the general fund to that fund this year just to cover alleged misconduct settlements.
So far this year, the city has paid $7.2 million in settlements to nine people who say they were injured by police actions. There is at least another $1.7 million pending in proposed legal fees. The city assumes no responsibility for its settlement.
There are several other lawsuits pending against the police, including one with a demand for $10 million.
“I’m so sorry you passed through. It’s a city that’s been terrorized, they’ve been through so much and now they’re being asked to shoulder the burden of all these settlements as well,” Tirado said.
The city declined to comment for this story.
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WCCO expects a lawsuit to be filed soon over former officer Derek Chauvin’s conduct with a teenager. He pleaded guilty to violating the teenager’s civil rights when he restrained him in 2017.