The Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay nearly $6 million to a group of police officers who accused their superiors of imposing a secret traffic ticket quota system, reports the Los Angeles Times. The settlement brings to more than $10 million the amount of taxpayer money spent on payouts and legal fees from the ticket quota cases. That number could grow because one more officer’s case is still pending.
The ticket controversy has been a black eye for the Los Angeles Police Department. Ticket quotas are against state law. Dennis Zine, a former City Council member and career motorcycle officer, said the settlement calls into question the department’s traffic division management. Police Chief Charlie Beck defended the department’s practices. Management set “goals” to reduce traffic violations that resulted in serious injury and death, Beck said, but the jury in a separate 2009 case interpreted that as quotas, he said.