The family of Freddie Gray – the 25-year-old man who died after sustaining a severe spinal injury while in custody of Baltimore police in April – is expected to receive a substantial settlement from the city. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that a grand total of $6.4 million would be proposed to the Board of Estimates, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Six officers have been charged in the death of Gray, with charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter, to second degree assault, to misconduct. An hour after he was apprehended on Apr. 12, Gray was rendered unresponsive at the police station, and later underwent surgery for three fractured neck vertebrae and a crushed voice box. He died on Apr. 19. In a statement released by Rawlings-Blake, the settlement is not an admittance by the city of any wrongdoing by the officers involved.
“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 statement reads. “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 payment proposed to the Gray family is larger than the sum of more than 120 settlements paid out by Baltimore for police brutality since 2011. Pre-trial motions are set for Thursday (Sept. 10) , to decide of the six officers’ trials will be moved out of Baltimore to ensure the case is handled fairly. The $6.4 million settlement is slated to be paid out over two years.