Cops have received more than $5 million to kill babies and toddlers in their custody, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
The payments, part of a $2.8 million federal civil-rights settlement, were announced Tuesday by the Justice Department, which said the payments “serve as an incentive to ensure that the government is not complicit in the killing of innocent babies and children.”
“Our hearts go out to the families who were impacted by this tragic practice,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
“It’s important that every baby and every child has a mother and a father.”
The payments are part of the settlement, which requires prosecutors to pay out more than 5 million dollars to victims and families.
Holder said in the statement that the payments are intended to prevent “the deaths of innocent children and young adults.”
He did not provide any further details.
Holds that “anyone can make a complaint” about the conduct of a law enforcement officer.
He said in another statement that he was not involved in the decision-making process.
The Justice Department said it plans to begin collecting payments on behalf of the federal government and other government agencies to compensate victims of police brutality and child abuse.
The department said it is not releasing the amount of the payments, nor its terms of payment.
The settlement will be fully disclosed in a court filing.
The AP previously reported that police departments in more than 20 cities had been reimbursed $7 million for killing babies and small children, including babies.
The department announced the payments Tuesday.
The payments will be distributed by the department to the agencies, the AP reported.
Homes in several of the communities have been the site of recent police killings, the Associated Press reported.
The settlement comes as a federal judge in Oklahoma City ruled on Monday that a former police officer, Steven Sturgis, who killed an unarmed black man in 2015, should receive $7.4 million in compensation after the city failed to adequately protect Sturgises children and grandchildren from abuse.
A jury in Tulsa in February found that Sturgides officers violated Sturgites constitutional rights and failed to protect his four grandchildren from the abusive treatment he suffered at the hands of Sturgids wife.
The city of Tulsa settled a civil rights lawsuit filed by the families of six of the eight people killed in the 2012 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo.
A judge in San Diego also ruled in October that the city must pay $6.5 million for a civil-assistance program designed to help young people facing abuse.