City reaches wrongful death settlement with Freddie Gray's family

The City of Baltimore has reached a $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who suffered a fatal spine injury while in police custody in April. The settlement was first reported by The Washington Post.

According to The Sun, "The city is accepting all civil liability in Gray's arrest and death, but does not acknowledge any wrongdoing by the police."

As both papers note, the Board of Estimates, which oversees spending for the city government, would have to approve the payout at its Wednesday meeting. The Sun reports it is "expected to be approved."

The Post reports the settlement "would also call for the Baltimore police department to begin requiring its officers to wear body cameras, according to the two people familiar with the agreement. Equipping Baltimore city and Baltimore County police with the cameras was also part of a bill [Gov. Larry] Hogan signed in May."

According to The Sun, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake released this statement: "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."

As has been noted in stories by both City Paper and The Sun, the city has shelled out millions in lawsuits resulting from the conduct of the Baltimore Police Department. But the $6.4 million sum, The Sun noted, "is larger than the total [of] the more than 120 other lawsuits brought against the police department for alleged brutality and misconduct since 2011."

The first motions hearing in the criminal case related to Gray's death was held last week. A judge ruled all of the six officers charged will get separate trials. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday to determine if those trials will be moved out of the city.

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