The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to pay $40,000 in punitive damages that a judge had ordered a former Oakland police officer to pay for making two men pull down their pants in public.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel last year ordered Ingo Mayer to pay $25,000 to Troy Lucas and $15,000 to Kirby Bradshaw, who sued the city and the officer after Mayer stopped and strip-searched them at a busy West Oakland intersection.
Patel found no legal rationale for the 2005 search. She ordered Oakland to pay a total of $205,000 to the men in addition to the $40,000 Mayer was ordered to pay. The city also had to pay $832,000 in legal fees to the plaintiffs' attorneys, John Burris and Michael Haddad.
The city had no legal obligation to make Mayer's payment, but the council voted 5-3 to do it anyway.
Councilmembers Nancy Nadel, Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan voted in opposition.
Brooks said the police union had recently asked council members to indemnify Mayer.
"It's inexcusable to allow such a practice to take place ...," Brooks said. "Punitive damage is not something a judge does lightly. You have to do something really bad."