The loved ones of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man whose death from a spinal cord injury although in police custody set off riots in Baltimore in April, has reached a $ 6.four million settlement with the city, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Tuesday.
The proposed settlement, which will be taken up by the Board of Estimates — the panel that approves contracts and purchases for the city — at its meeting on Wednesday, does not “constitute an admission of liability on the portion of the city, the Baltimore Police Department, individual Baltimore Police officers,” or any person else who may possibly be accountable for Mr. Gray’s death, Ms. Rawlings-Blake stated in a statement.
The settlement comes as judicial hearings are just beginning in the circumstances of six officers facing criminal charges in Mr. Gray’s death. Final week, Judge Barry G. Williams of the Baltimore City Circuit Court ruled that the six would be tried separately on Thursday, Judge Williams will conduct one more hearing to consider a request by defense lawyers to move the trials outdoors Baltimore.
“The proposed settlement agreement going prior to the Board of Estimates must not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial,” Ms. Rawlings-Blake stated. The proposed settlement will be paid as $ two.8 million in the present fiscal year and $ three.6 million in the year beginning in July 2016.
Mr. Gray was arrested April 12 in West Baltimore, a blighted neighborhood of boarded-up rowhouses. His death on April 19 set off practically two weeks of largely peaceful protests, followed by a night of looting and arson — the worst rioting Baltimore has noticed considering that 1968. It also opened a deep wound in Baltimore, a majority black city with an African-American mayor and a history of tensions between black residents and the police.
In filing criminal charges against the six officers, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby, has asserted they improperly arrested and shackled Mr. Gray, flouting police guidelines and standards of decency by loading him into a police van without having needed safety restraints, and ignoring his pleas for assist throughout the ride. Ms. Mosby has argued that the spinal cord injury that killed Mr. Gray occurred whilst he was becoming transported in the van.
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 anticipated to argue prior to Judge Williams that the officers can not get a fair trial in Baltimore due to the fact of the intense publicity surrounding the case.
The lawyers had also sought to have Ms. Mosby and her workplace removed from the case, citing conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct, but Judge Williams rejected those arguments in a hearing final week.
Correction: September eight, 2015
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this report misstated the amount of the settlement. It was $ 6.4 million, not $ .6.4.