With all the drama surrounding the death of Freddie Gray the family has reached a settlement with the city of Baltimore.
Via Washington Post
Baltimore officials have reached a $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, an agreement they say is the right step for a city still recovering from riots and demonstrations sparked by the 25-year-old’s death from an injury suffered in police custody.
The wrongful death settlement, which requires final approval by a city board, comes as criminal charges are pending against six police officers in Gray’s arrest and death.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stressed that the settlement would not affect the criminal cases, but it would avoid a drawn-out civil case against the city or police.
“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,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.
Gray, who died a week after his April 12 arrest, has emerged as one of the most visible symbols in the national debate over the death of black men in police custody. Authorities say that he suffered a severe spinal injury as he was being driven in a police van while handcuffed and not restrained by a seat belt and that police ignored his calls for help.
The death prompted widespread protests and rioting in the city that began April 27, the day of Gray’s funeral. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) eventually called in the National Guard, and Rawlings-Blake (D) implemented a citywide curfew.
Gray’s family had not filed a lawsuit in the case, but their attorneys said they intended to once results of investigations by the Justice Department and others were revealed.
While the amount is not unprecedented, the Gray settlement exceeds a $5.9 million wrongful death claim New York officials agreed to pay to the family of Eric Garner, who died last year after he was put in a chokehold by police on Staten Island. The amount proposed for Gray’s family also is greater than the $3.8 million payout to Los Angeles motorist Rodney King in 1994 — which would amount to about $6.2 million today.
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