BALTIMORE, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The City of Baltimore reached Tuesday a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died in a police van.
The city will make the payments to Gray’s family as a settlement for civil claims related to his arrest and death. It will be paid out over two years, according to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office, with $2.8 million paid the first year and $3.6 million the second.
Only six such payouts since 2011 have exceeded $200,000.
The city is accepting all liability in Gray’s wrongful death, but it does not acknowledge wrongdoing by police officers.
Gray sustained a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody after being arrested on April 12. In the hours following his funeral on April 27, the city erupted into rioting, arson and looting, prompting the National Guard to be called in for help and the establishment of a citywide curfew.
Six officers involved in Gray’s death were charged with multiple crimes ranging from murder to assault. All have pleaded not guilty, and a pre-trial motions hearing is set for Thursday to decide whether or not to move the officers’ cases out of Baltimore so as to steer clear of the intense publicity surrounding the case. This hearing is a response to demonstrations sparked by a judge’s decision to try each officer separately.
An investigation by the Baltimore Sun revealed that the city has spent $5.7 million in 102 court judgments and settlements for police misconduct since 2011. It also revealed that city residents including a pregnant woman and an 87-year-old grandmother sustained battery, broken bones and other injuries during dubious arrests.