The St. Louis police department and City Hall have paid $62,500 to settle a federal lawsuit by a man wrongly held in jail for more than two months. That works out to more than $800 for each day Travis S. Jones spent locked up, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Terms of the settlement, obtained by the Post-Dispatch under the state Sunshine Law, say it “is the result of a compromise and shall not be construed as an admission of any liability, wrongdoing, or responsibility.”
Jail records obtained by the newspaper show that police and jailers knew within nine days that they had arrested and incarcerated Jones on another man's warrant. Yet they continued to hold him for two months more. Jones was one of about 100 men and women identified in a Post-Dispatch investigation to have been jailed by mistake in the city in recent years, some of them for months. That investigation, published in October, found that police sometimes failed to verify the suspects' identities, ignored their claims of a mistake and did not correct errors in records, potentially compounding problems. It is not clear how the settlement might affect a similar, pending federal lawsuit. Its lawyer, James Hacking, failed to win class-action status for such claims but is talking with the American Civil Liberties Union about working together to try again.