Police Brutality Bonds: How Wall Street Profits from Police Violence

Alyxandra Goodwin, Whitney Shephard, Carrie Sloan
Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE)
June, 2018

According to ACRE:

As the costs of police misconduct rise, cities and counties across the United States are going into debt to pay for it. Often this debt is in the form of bond borrowing. When cities or counties issue bonds to pay these costs, banks and other firms collect fees for the services they provide, and investors collect interest. The use of bonds to pay for settlements and judgments greatly increases the burden of policing costs on taxpayers, while producing a profit for banks and investors. Using bonds to pay for settlements or judgments can nearly double the costs of the original settlement. All of this is paid for by taxpayers.

This report details these costs in case studies of five cities: Cleveland, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; and Lake County, Indiana. It includes specific recommendations to end this profit-making practice.

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