No award is going to bring back Freddie Gray, but $6.4 million is a step in the right direction.
The deal, announced Tuesday, appeared to be among the largest settlements in police death cases in recent years and happened just days before a judge is set to decide whether to move a trial for six officers charged in Gray’s death.
Gray’s spine was injured April 12 in the back of a prisoner transport van after he was arrested. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died at the hospital a week later. In the aftermath, Gray became a symbol of the contentious relationship between the police and the public in Baltimore, as well as the treatment of black men by police in America.
The settlement still needs the approval of a board that oversees city spending. That board will meet Wednesday morning.
“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,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. “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.”