Baltimore reaches settlement with family of Freddie Gray for $6.4 million; what does it mean for accused cops?

The city of Baltimore has agreed to pay $6.4 million to the family of the career criminal and drug dealer whose death after an arrest in April set off rioting that closed down the city and left six police officers facing criminal charges.

The proposed settlement to the family of Freddie Gray will be presented to the city’s Board of Estimates on Wednesday and is expected to be approved, CNN reported Tuesday.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration released a statement Tuesday stating that the settlement is not an admission of guilt for the six officers charged in Gray’s death, but is being made to avoid costly litigation and put the incident to rest, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

The attorneys for the accused officers are already arguing that the officers cannot get a fair trial in the city, the New York Times reported.

The six face varying charges. Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the police van in which Mr. Gray was injured, is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder — in essence, murder with willful disregard for human life. Sgt. Alicia D. White, Lt. Brian Rice and Officer William G. Porter are charged with manslaughter. Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett Miller face lesser charges, including second-degree assault.

On Thursday, lawyers for the six officers are expected to argue before Judge Williams that the officers cannot get a fair trial in Baltimore because of the intense publicity surrounding the case.

Social media exploded at the news, with some asking why the city would pay it while it is yet to be determined if Gray, who had a history of injuring himself in police custody, was responsible for his own death.


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