Julia Craven -Huff Post Politics
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Baltimore city officials have reached a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement in the death of Freddie Gray, citing two people with knowledge of the agreement.
Details of the proposed settlement could be released by city officials as early as Tuesday.
Gray, 25, sustained a severe spinal injury after being taken into custody by Baltimore police. He died on April 19. Autopsy reports showed Gray had a single “high-energy injury,” which was most likely caused by a “rough ride” in the back of a police van. He was handcuffed and not secured by a seatbelt, and the injury likely occurred when the van decelerated quickly. His death was ruled a homicide, based on police failure to follow safety procedures.
What happened before and after Gray’s arrest is still unclear. But the Baltimore Police Department admitted on April 24 that Gray had not received timely medical care. In May, all six officers involved in the death of Gray were charged and indicted.
The settlement would need approval from Baltimore’s Board of Estimates, which handles the city’s spending, according to The Washington Post. The Board is expected to meet on Wednesday. In addition to the payout, Baltimore police officers would be required to wear body cameras.
The city has paid out around $5.7 million in police brutality settlements since 2011, according to a 2014 Baltimore Sun analysis.
Protests erupted in Baltimore following Gray’s funeral on April 27. By 3 p.m. that day, dozens of teenagers showed up at Mondawmin Mall — and dozens of police officers greeted them. One young woman picked up stones while officers fastened their riot helmets. The officers and teenagers faced off across a narrow road off the mall’s parking lot.
Soon, the officers started yelling at the teenagers, instructing them to leave mall grounds. Their demands were met with chants of “Fuck the police!” and “Don’t shoot!” Some of the teens could be heard saying police had “started” things by killing Gray.
Once pushback from officers began to get intense, teenagers ran to a 7-Eleven on the other side of Reisterstown Road — they were upset, but still relatively peaceful.
This was short-lived. Soon rocks, bricks and glass bottles were being thrown at officers.
About 15 minutes after things heated up, an armored vehicle belonging to the Baltimore Police Department was on the scene, chasing down groups of teenagers as they pelted it with rocks.
Del Conley, a Baltimore resident who was involved in some of the protests, told The Huffington Post outside of Gray’s funeral that media has been focused on what protesters are doing wrong and that the world should be aware of why Baltimore’s residents are so upset.
“People who don’t live in my neighborhood or don’t come from the same background as me or the same area as me — they don’t know how we live. They’re outsiders looking in,” Conley said. “They don’t know what’s going on in our neighborhood. They don’t know what we go through — they don’t know anything, if you ask me.”