Chicago officials said they received an $11 million bill for the settlement of a lawsuit over wrongful arrests made during a 2003 anti-war march.
The figure, almost double the amount agreed upon in court, accounts for the final sum of nearly $5 million in lawyers' fees from nine years of litigation, as well as the $6.2 million in compensation for nearly 900 people detained or arrested on charges later dropped.
The Chicago Tribune cites the turning point in the city's years-long battle against the suit was a March 2011 decision issued by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals calling the city's handling of the protests "idiotic." The decision implicated the city because police did not give protesters the opportunity to disperse before arresting them.
After accounting for the city's own legal fees, the lawsuit cost Chicago more than $15 million total, the newspaper said. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who inherited the case when he assumed office in May, decided to settle because continuing to fight the suit would actually cost the city even more money.
Officials told the Tribune they have learned valuable lessons from the settlement. When it comes to protests, police have been careful not to make arrests unless absolutely necessary.