Baltimore Reaches $6.4 Million Settlement for Wrongful Death

The progress from Western colonial global expansion, and the construction of American wealth and industry on the backs of enslaved Blacks and Native peoples, followed by the abrupt "emancipation" of the slaves and their exodus from the South to the Northern cities, has led us to our current divided society. Divided by economic inequities and unequal access to social resources, the nation lives in a media dream of social harmony, or did until YouTube set its bed on fire. Now, it is common knowledge that our current system of brutal racist policing and punitive over-incarceration serves the dual purpose of maintaining racial prejudice and the inequities it justifies. Brief yourself on this late-breaking development in American history here.

Baltimore Reaches $6.4 Million Settlement for Wrongful Death

Postby admin » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:07 pm

Baltimore Reaches $6.4 Million Settlement for Wrongful Death of Freddie Gray
by Andrew Emett
September 9, 2015

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Freddie Gray's family settled with Baltimore on Tuesday in the wrongful death case of their son while in police custody. The officers responsible for Gray's death will still face both assault and manslaughter charges.

The city of Baltimore reached a $6.4 million settlement on Tuesday with Freddie Gray’s parents for the wrongful death of their son while in police custody. Although the officers responsible for Gray’s death have recently been charged with assault and manslaughter, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake emphasized that the settlement does not acknowledge any illicit activity committed by the police.

At 8:39 a.m. on April 12, three Baltimore police officers were patrolling on their bicycles when Lieutenant Brian Rice made eye contact with two individuals standing on a street corner. After the two men immediately fled, officers pursued the individuals and apprehended one of them. According to police, 25-year-old Freddie Gray surrendered without requiring the use of force as an officer aimed a Taser at Gray but did not fire.

After restraining Gray and arresting him, Officer Garrett Miller allegedly found a switchblade inside Gray’s pants pocket. Although Gray was charged with possession of an illegal knife, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby asserted that the arrest had been illegal because the knife in Gray’s pocket was not a switchblade. Mosby also pointed out that the knife was not even found until after Gray was arrested.

Witnesses claim that Lt. Brian Rice and officers Edward Nero and Miller used excessive force to arrest Gray and refused to give him medical treatment. After dragging Gray into the back of a police van, Officer Caesar Goodson allegedly administered a “rough ride” and was directly responsible for causing Gray’s severed spine. Gray fell into a coma and died on April 19.

After the Justice Department opened an investigation into Gray’s death in police custody, the medical examiner reportedly found that Gray sustained his fatal spinal cord injury when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, which broke his neck. The medical examiner also found a head injury that matches a bolt from the back of the van.

Baltimore police officers Caesar Goodson, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero, William Porter, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White were all charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. Lt. Rice, Sgt. White, and Officer Porter were also charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to request medical assistance. Officer Goodson was also charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter, and two counts of vehicular manslaughter.

Last week, Judge Barry Williams denied motions to dismiss charges against the officers and refused to remove the prosecutor in the case after defense attorneys for the officers accused her of prosecutorial misconduct. Williams also ordered the six officers to be tried separately.

On Tuesday, the city of Baltimore agreed to pay Gray’s family $6.4 million over the next two years in order to settle the wrongful death civil suit filed against the city. The city’s spending panel, which is controlled by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, is expected to approve the settlement on Wednesday.

“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 mayor said in a statement. “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.”

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the city’s police union, called the settlement irresponsible and referred to the mayor’s reaction as “ridiculous.”

“Just as Baltimore is returning to its pre-riot normalcy, this news threatens to interrupt any progress made toward restoring the relationship between the members of the Baltimore Police Department the Baltimore City government,” Ryan said in a statement. “We strongly urge the city’s spending panel to reject this proposed settlement and to wait until such time as there is a more appropriate response.”

In 1997, Jeffrey Alston, 32, became paralyzed from the neck down after being arrested and receiving a rough ride. Baltimore police officers claim that Alston freed himself from the seatbelt and repeatedly rammed his own head into the side of the van. Although a jury awarded Alston $39 million, he and the city of Baltimore settled for $6 million. None of the officers involved faced disciplinary repercussions.

In November 2005, Dondi Johnson Sr., 43, was arrested for public urination and placed in a police transport van before emerging as a quadriplegic. After Officer Nicole Leake allegedly gave Johnson a rough ride while his hands were cuffed behind his back, Johnson suffered a fractured spine and died on December 7, 2005. Johnson’s family was initially awarded $7.4 million, but was eventually reduced to $219,000 by Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals.
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Re: Baltimore Reaches $6.4 Million Settlement for Wrongful D

Postby admin » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:08 am

Judge Refuses to Drop Charges Against Officers Responsible for Killing Freddie Gray
by Andrew Emett
September 3, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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On Wednesday, Judge Barry Williams denied motions to dismiss charges against the officers who were responsible for the killing of Freddie Gray. Will justice be served?

A Baltimore judge denied motions on Wednesday to dismiss charges against the six officers responsible for causing the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody. Although defense attorneys for the officers argued that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should be removed from the case because of prosecutorial misconduct, the judge also denied the recusal motion.

At 8:39 a.m. on April 12, three Baltimore police officers were patrolling on their bicycles when Lieutenant Brian Rice made eye contact with two individuals standing at a street corner. After the two men immediately fled, officers pursued the individuals and apprehended one of them. According to police, Freddie Gray surrendered without requiring the use of force as an officer aimed a Taser at Gray but did not fire it. After restraining him, Officer Garrett Miller allegedly found a switchblade inside Gray’s pants pocket.

Witnesses assert that Lt. Rice and officers Edward Nero and Miller used excessive force to arrest Gray and refused to give him medical treatment. After watching the officers sitting on Gray’s back while handcuffing him, a bystander named Kiona Mack took out her cell phone and recorded a video of officers dragging Gray into the back of a police van as he screamed in agony.

Two minutes after police arrested him, Gray reportedly asked for medical attention including an inhaler to help him breathe. Although the videos show Gray dragging his feet and screaming in pain, he appeared responsive and could still speak. A few minutes after driving away from the scene, an officer asked the driver to pull over to finish paperwork.

At 8:46 a.m., Gray was placed in leg irons. Roughly ten minutes later, the police van received a request to pick up another prisoner. The other prisoner was placed inside the van, but a metal barrier prevented the second prisoner from making physical contact with Gray.

By 9:24 a.m., Gray was no longer responsive and had difficulty breathing. Police called for an ambulance to transport Gray to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center. Suffering from damage to his spinal cord including three cracked vertebrae, Gray fell into a coma. On April 13, Gray underwent surgery to repair his spine, which had reportedly been 80 percent severed. He survived for seven days before passing away on the morning of April 19.

After the Justice Department opened an investigation into Gray’s death in police custody, the medical examiner reportedly found that Gray sustained his fatal spinal cord injury when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, which broke his neck. The medical examiner also found a head injury that matches a bolt from the back of the van.

Baltimore police officers Caesar Goodson, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero, William Porter, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White were all charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. Lt. Rice, Sgt. White, and Officer Porter were also charged with involuntary manslaughter for failing to request medical assistance. Accused of administering a “rough ride” while driving the van and bearing direct responsibility for causing Gray’s spinal injuries, Officer Goodson was also charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter, and two counts of vehicular manslaughter.

On Wednesday, Judge Barry Williams denied motions to dismiss charges against the officers. Judge Williams also refused to remove the prosecutor in the case after defense attorneys for the officers accused her of prosecutorial misconduct. The defense attorneys argued that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby had a conflict of interest because her husband, Nick Mosby, is a city councilman. They also claimed that State’s Attorney Mosby prejudiced the jury by making “reckless and unprofessional” remarks while announcing charges against the officers.

According to Judge Williams, the defense “didn’t come close” to justifying Mosby’s removal from the case. On Wednesday, Williams also ordered the six officers to be tried separately. The first court date is scheduled for October 13.
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