Baltimore City Board approves $6.4M settlement for Freddie Gray's death
Baltimore City's Board of Estimates voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who was critically injured while in police custody. Gray was arrested for "making eye-contact with a police officer and then running". Upon arrest Freddie Gray was forcibly slammed to the ground and then placed in the back of a Police van. Subsequently Mr. Gray's spine was 80% severed at the neck which caused his death.
The settlement appears to be among the largest such payments in police death cases in recent years. Baltimore city released a statement saying: " This settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers"
So far this settlement is the largest municipal settlement in relation to police brutality. In July, New York City settled for $5.9 million with the family of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being put in a white police officer's choke-hold.
In 2001 the City of Chicago settled a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of LaTanya Haggerty , for $18 million. Ms. Haggerty was a black woman who was shot and killed by a police officer who thought her cellphone was a weapon.
Note from the editor: Police violence and corruption isn't a new phenomena in America but with new technology (ie; cellphone cameras and body cams) and renewed public scrutiny we are likely to see more settlements that tax payers have to foot the bill for. If the United States government is unwilling or unable to fundamentally overhaul law enforcement in this country it is time now in the short term to shift culpability for police misconduct to the police themselves. All police in america or their unions must be responsible to carry malpractice insurance like doctors and their should be no caps on settlements unlike many states have for doctor malpractice. "Conservatives" always call for "free-market" solutions well here is one - J-Didda