Baltimore officials to vote on $6.4 million settlement with Freddie Gray’s family

Baltimore officials to vote on $6.4 million settlement with Freddie Gray’s family

(CNN) — Baltimore officials will vote this week on a proposed $6.4 million deal to settle all civil claims tied to death of Freddie Gray, a possible settlement the city’s mayor cast as a sensible move but the police union chief blasted as “ridiculous.”

The family of Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being transported in a Baltimore police van in April, reached the proposed deal with city attorneys, a source close to the family said.

The city’s Board of Estimates, a five-person panel that includes Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, will vote on the proposal Wednesday morning.

If approved, the deal would close the civil claims chapter of a case that sparked days of unrest in the city of more than 600,000 people.

Six Baltimore police officers still face criminal charges in connection with Gray’s death.

But the settlement, if approved, “would resolve all civil claims related to the city of Baltimore, the Baltimore Police Department, individual Baltimore police officers, and any other persons or institutions who might be deemed responsible for the death of Mr. Gray,” the city said Tuesday.

“The proposed settlement agreement … should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial,” Rawlings-Blake said. “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 head of Baltimore’s police union, which represents the six accused officers, expressed “a tremendous amount of concern and alarm” to news of the proposal.

“To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the adjudication of the pending criminal cases is obscene and without regard to the fiduciary responsibility owed to (taxpayers),” said Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police. “There has been no civil litigation filed nor has there been any guilt determined that would require such a ridiculous reaction.”

Ryan urged the city committee to reject the settlement pact, saying, “This news threatens to interrupt any progress made toward restoring the relationship between the members of the Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore city government.”

By Miguel Marquez, Jason Hanna and Greg Botelho
CNN’s Laura Ly and Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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