Police have always abused, beaten, and killed people. They’ve just been getting more attention lately. And, just as important, police brutality is costing cities a lot more money now.

It’s one thing to tell police departments not to abuse, beat, and kill people unnecessarily. It’s another thing when it starts wrecking municipal budgets. That’s when things tend to change. The broader citizenry can tolerate abuse of some minorities, but nobody like to see their property taxes raised.

The Wall Street Journal reports that that combination of newer, high-profile police abuse cases (which seem to now expand to fill every news cycle) and “efforts to resolve decades-old police scandals” are combining to send the price tag of police brutality to new heights in major cities across America.

The 10 cities with the largest police departments paid out $248.7 million last year in settlements and court judgments in police-misconduct cases, up 48% from $168.3 million in 2010, according to data gathered by The Wall Street Journal through public-records requests.

Republicans: stop these killer cops or TAXES GO UP.

[Photo: AP]