The Rawlings-Blake administration plans to pay Freddie Gray ‘s family $6.4 million as a settlement for civil claims in his arrest and death — an extraordinary payment in a lawsuit against city police.
The settlement — which is expected to be approved at Wednesday’s meeting of the city’s spending panel — will be paid out over two years, according to the mayor’s office. The five-member board is controlled by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The payment is larger than the total of more than 120 other lawsuits brought against the police department for alleged brutality and misconduct since 2011.
Gray, 25, died in April after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury in police custody. In the hours after his funeral, the city erupted into rioting, arson and looting. The National Guard was called in to help restore order, and a citywide curfew was put in place.
A multimillion-dollar wrongful death settlement is rare in Baltimore. Only six payouts since 2011 exceeded $200,000 in the more than 120 police brutality-related claims. In all of those payouts, settlements came months or years after legal wrangling in court battles.
For example, the city paid $175,000 in mid-April to the estate of a man who was shot and killed by police. Michael Omar Wudtee, a 38-year-old Randallstown man, died in 2012 after being shot by police. His estate had sought $10 million in his death.