SoCal Police's Blood Money

When the DA declines to prosecute bad cops, the only justice families can get is financial

The amount is symbolic, agreed to for practical reasons. "We stipulated to the $5,000, rather than put the family through three more days against each officer," says Mardirossian. But, he continues, "far too often, it's the city or the union that makes the payment for them."

Measuring bruises on Emily Dole's legs
Measuring bruises on Emily Dole's legs

To James, the monetary amount each officer will be required to pay out is irrelevant. "It's a statement made by the jury," she concludes. "Being awarded punitive damages is very, very rare in federal court. The jury of our peers found unanimously that they were guilty."

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