The solution to all of these authoritarian problems is so obvious: criminal charges against the perpetrators AND the people giving the orders. Instead we get court cases against public institutions, they settle out of court, and when they pay a fine or settlement it is with the people's own money. It is pretty clear that those fines and settlements are not a deterrent against future bad behavior.
Now, you must understand that criminal charges will and must go through trial. This is critical. Sometimes what appears to be unconscionable behavior to us, the outside viewer, will turn out to have been reasonable under the scrutiny of an informed jury. Criminal charges do not mean just punishing cops or agents of the government at random. Criminal charges can only mean punishing criminals. The innocent will be found innocent.
(Yes, I realize this ignores the many flaws of the criminal justice system... but if it is good enough for you, it is good enough for a cop or politician. Right?)
Not having the trial, and instead having settlements, has a compounding negative impact because it is both not a deterrent and also eliminates the critical thinking. Without trials, we do not have judges and juries thinking deeply about these problems and coming to conclusions and judgements that can further be studied and understood. Instead we just get meaningless arguments between uninformed zealots.
edit: typo fixed