Civil rights lawsuits to pose future financial problems for Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- The current civil rights allegations against Milwaukee police officers could affect you. Many alleged victims promise to file civil rights lawsuits, and any settlement resulting from these lawsuits will be paid using taxpayer dollars.

The Finance Committee is working on plugging the holes. Aldermen have larger holes to fill if several civil rights lawsuits come full circle. There's the case of Derek Williams, a man who died in the back of a MPD squad car. There's also dozens of charged instances of illegal searches by Milwaukee police officers.

Milwaukee Alderman Mike Murphy says, "All these cases have potential of significant exposure in terms of liability for the city."

The City of Milwaukee is self insured so no insurance company would come to the rescue. The money for settlements comes from the taxpayers. Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines says, "We're always concerned if we have any claims that we have to pay out. Obviously we never want to be in the situation in the first place, but it's too premature to say what that cost would be to taxpayers."

The City of Milwaukee paid two million dollars in the Frank Jude Jr. case after officers beat Jude in 2004.

Any potential settlements would be years down the road, but the sheer number of cases could post a potential financial problems for the city.

CLICK HERE for additional coverage on the Derek Williams’ death investigation via

CLICK HERE for more stories on the alleged illegal strip searches conducted by MPD officers.