Five Thirty Eight published a database of police settlements at Github—a unique body of information that reveals the financial costs incurred by America's excessively violent cops. But it cautions against using the information to draw comparisons between jurisdictions.
As we describe in an accompanying article, this data has major issues. It constitutes our best guess at the amount of money that was paid out as settlements for police misconduct from 2010-19 (or for the range otherwise provided), but different cities have different ways of collecting, storing and categorizing such settlements. As a result, this data should not be compared across cities. We have no way of knowing (or checking) whether the kinds of misconduct this covers are comparable across cities. (For example, city officials in Boston likely interpreted our request more narrowly than those in New York City.) Descriptions of the types of misconduct are included where provided, but are also not comparable across cities. For this reason, while we are making all the data we obtained available, we are not providing it in an easy-to-use, collated data set.