Baltimore reaches settlement with Freddie Gray family

Sep 8, 2015 11:26 AM by CBS/AP

BALTIMORE - Baltimore officials have reached a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, a black man who died a week after suffering a critical spinal injury while in police custody.

The deal has to be approved by the city's Board of Estimates, which will meet Wednesday.

The proposed settlement would require $2.8 million to be paid during the current fiscal year and $3.6 million during the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2016. It would resolve all civil claims stemming from Gray's death.

Six Baltimore officers have been charged in the 25-year-old Gray's April death, which led to protests in the city and a riot that prompted National Guard intervention and a city-wide curfew.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement Wednesday saying the proposed settlement "should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial."

"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 statement says.

Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, William Porter and Caesar Goodson, as well as Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White all face second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.

Rice, Porter and White also face manslaughter charges, and Goodson faces an additional charge of second-degree "depraved heart" murder.

News of the settlement between Baltimore and the Gray family comes just under a week after a judge ruled that the six officers will be tried separately.

Defense lawyers had argued for separate trials for each of the six because not all of the evidence applies to each defendant and they argued they do not want jurors prejudiced against their clients based on evidence that was brought into the trial against another defendant, CBS News Justice Reporter Paula Reid reported.

According to Reid, the decision to try the officers separately means more money, more time, more jurors, and ultimately a lesser likelihood of conviction.

Last week, the judge also denied a motion by the defense to recuse State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her staff due to what defense attorneys characterized as conflicts of interest.

Defense attorneys had also sought to drop the charges against the officers, citing prosecutorial misconduct on the part Mosby.


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