$4.5-Million Award

* When the Los Angeles City Council awarded a teen-age girl who was molested by a police officer $4.5 million (April 30), it sent a clear message to the LAPD how very wrong this behavior is, and that's good.

Unfortunately, the money isn't going to come from funds raised at the annual policeman's ball. It will come from the taxpayers of L.A. in the form of higher taxes or less service. Probably both.

It's time to look at the mind-bogglingly generous amounts of money city councils and juries award these days and keep in mind who really pays these bills! No amount of money can make up for what any victim suffers, but if the perpetrator isn't paying the damages, then the notion of punishment harks back to the days of whipping boys--the angry get to feel good, the guilty are warned, and the real punishment is passed along to the innocent.


Newport Beach

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