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City of Baltimore reaches $6.4m settlement with Freddie Gray's family

By
Tomas Monzon
A photograph of Baltimore's City Hall. Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock
A photograph of Baltimore's City Hall. Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock

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.

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Only six such payouts since 2011 have exceeded $200,000.

The deal must be approved by the city's Board of Estimates, which oversees city spending. The group includes Rawlings-Blake and is expected to meet Wednesday.

RELATED Baltimore officers plead not guilty to charges stemming from Freddie Gray death

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.

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RELATED Report: Autopsy shows officers 'acts of omission' caused Freddie Gray severe injuries to head, spine

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.

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