The family of Freddie Gray would receive $6.4 million from Baltimore City in a settlement, if the agreement is approved later this week by the city’s Board of Estimates.
The settlement is in connection with civil claims brought in the wake of Gray’s death in police custody, and is not in connection with the criminal trial of the six officers accused in Gray’s death. A release from the mayor’s office said the settlement “does not resolve any factual disputes surrounding the events of April 12, 2015, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the City, the Baltimore Police Department, or any of the police officers who interacted with Mr. Gray on that day.”
“The settlement has nothing whatsoever to do with the criminal proceedings now underway,” the release states.
The City would pay $2.8 million during the current fiscal year, and $3.6 million in 2016.
The Mayor declined to answer questions about the settlement at a press conference that was called about a separate announcement on Tuesday morning. She released the statement below, and said she would not comment until after the Board of Estimates meeting on Wednesday morning.
“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,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “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.”
Use of force cases routinely lead to big payouts from the city, but the settlement with Gray’s family represents a large sum. According to the Baltimore Sun’s reporting from last fall, the city paid out $5.7 million from 2011-Oct., 2014.
UPDATE (3:20 p.m.): Gene Ryan, President of Baltimore’s police union, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon urging the Board of Estimates to reject the settlement proposal.
“To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the ajudication of the pending criminal cases in obscene and without regard to the fiduciary responsibility owed to the taxpaying citizens of Baltimore. There has been no civil litigation filed nor has there been any guilt determined that would require such a ridiculous reaction on the part of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her administration.”
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