Baltimore Reaches 6.4 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Settlement In Freddie Gray Case

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Baltimore public officials have agreed to pay out a 6.4 million dollar wrongful death settlement to the family of Freddie Gray, pending approval from the city’s Board of Estimates. If the Board of Estimates approves the deal, the Gray family would be compensated 2.8 million dollars this fiscal year, and an additional 3.6 million dollars in the upcoming fiscal year.

In addition to paying out the monetary sum, the agreement also stipulated that Baltimore police officers must be equipped with body cameras to monitor their activity while they are on duty. This added provision was included to ensure better oversight over the Baltimore Police Department, and to better hold officers accountable for improper, abusive or unlawful behavior.

Gray died in police custody. The state medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide. He suffered a severe spinal injury, probably from “high-energy” impact while he was being transported. The six officers involved in his arrest and transport are all facing felony charges ranging in severity from second degree assault to second-degree depraved heart murder.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement noting:

The proposed settlement agreement going before the Board of Estimates should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial. This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city, and avoids costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal and potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.

The 6.4 million dollar settlement is larger than the 5.9 million dollars awarded to Eric Garner’s family in New York City, where Garner was choked to death by police officers. Both the Garner and Gray incidents have been critical flash points in sparking the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement.

No amount of money can heal the loss of a loved one. The Baltimore settlement agreement, however not only compensates the family of the deceased, it also mandates that the police department wear body cameras going forward. While this provision will be unlikely to end police brutality in the city, it is an important step in the right direction.

9 Replies to “Baltimore Reaches 6.4 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Settlement In Freddie Gray Case”

  1. I just hope the family doesn’t fall into this trap
    Structured To Deceive How companies make millions off lead-poisoned, poor blacks

    Just in case you still had belief in humanity, Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy brings us this story of how the structured settlement industry has been ripping off inner-city Baltimore black families over lead poisoning insurance payments.
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    http://deephousepage.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267755

  2. The only reason someone settles a civil case is that they anticipate a much worse result (for them) if the case goes to trial. So Baltimore anticipated it would lose the civil case, badly. Does that mean the cops will definitely be found guilty? No, because the standard of proof for criminal cases is much higher (beyond a reasonable doubt) than for civil cases (preponderance of the evidence). And don’t forget – jurors tend to give great deference to the actions of the police.

  3. That money needs to go to reestablish a robust Public defenders office.
    The constitution was designed to protect citizens from law enforcement overreach.

    The right to counsel is as absolute as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The government ensures that by providing citizens with lawyers to counter the power of the district attorney and police.

    State government has failed its residents by denying them their Federal rights.

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