Marquise Brown | Staff Writer
Baltimore, Maryland – The parents of Freddie Gray reached a tentative $6.4 million settlement with the city of Baltimore, nearly five months after their 25 year old son died a week after being critically injured in police custody. Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby has pointed out that Gray’s injury in April stemmed from the police officer’s failure to buckle his seatbelt in the van while he was handcuffed and shackled.
According to mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, “This settlement does not represent any judgment” on the guilt or innocence of the six police officers charged in the case. Blake also stated, “This settlement represents an opportunity to bring closure to the Gray family, the community, and the city.” City Solicitor George Nilson says the officers charged in Gray’s death are not named in the settlement.
Since Gray’s death, all six officers have since plead guilty. Gray family attorney Billy Murphy said, “If a civil case went to court, it could easily have taken three years to resolve and no grieving family wants to go through that.” However, the head of Baltimore’s police union, which represents the six accused officers, disapprove of the settlement, and refers to it as ‘pre-mature’.
President of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, Gene Ryan, says the settlement disregards any progress made toward possibly restoring the relationship between the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore City government.
Baffled by Ryan’s comments, the Baltimore city mayor highlights that this settlement removes any civil liability against these six officers, and says regardless of the outcome of each officer’s criminal trial, they could not be sued in civil court.