Baltimore Officials: Taxpayers to Pay $6.4m Settlement to Family of Freddie Gray

Officials with the City of Baltimore say that they have negotiated a wrongful death settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man whose death last April in police custody set off riots across the city.

According to CBS DC, under the agreement, Baltimore taxpayers would pay $6.4 million to Gray’s family. However, the proposed settlement must still seek the approval of the city’s Board of Estimates, which is set to consider the arrangement on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Six Baltimore police officers are currently facing criminal charges related to Gray’s death, which has been ruled a homicide caused by a high energy neck and spine injury resulting from officers’ failure to follow safety procedures during a rough van ride in which Gray’s hands and feet were bound and in which he was not wearing a safety belt. Truth in Media’s Rachel Blevins noted that “the medical examiner compared Gray’s injury to a person diving headfirst into shallow water.

All six officers have pleaded not guilty to the charges and face a hearing on Thursday at which a judge will choose a venue for the criminal proceedings.

[RELATED: Officer Who Pursued Freddie Gray Has History of Violence, Mental Health Issues]

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,” read a statement by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “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 Wall Street Journal is reporting that the agreement calls for the $6.4 million settlement to be paid over two years, with $2.8 million set to be issued to Gray’s family in the first year and $3.6 million in the following year.

Freddie Gray Autopsy: Homicide By ‘High-Energy’ Impact

Baltimore – The autopsy of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody in April, reveals that he suffered a “high-energy injury” to his neck and spine. The Baltimore Sun obtained a copy of the autopsy results, and reported that the state medical examiner concluded Gray’s death was a homicide, rather than an … Continue reading Freddie Gray Autopsy: Homicide By ‘High-Energy’ Impact

Breaking: “Baltimore Six” Indicted By Grand Jury In Freddie Gray Death

Baltimore, MD- Each of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury in Baltimore. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the announcement on Thursday. The charges handed down to the “Baltimore Six” by the grand jury are similar to the charges filed by Mosby. The officers are scheduled for arraignment on … Continue reading Breaking: “Baltimore Six” Indicted By Grand Jury In Freddie Gray Death

Officer Who Pursued Freddie Gray Has History of Violence, Mental Health Issues

Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice, the officer who initially pursued 25-year-old Freddie Gray after Gray “caught his eye” and then took off running, has been involved in previous incidents that resulted in his suspension and the confiscation of his guns, according to a recent report. Gray, who was chased by Baltimore Police and then arrested for … Continue reading Officer Who Pursued Freddie Gray Has History of Violence, Mental Health Issues

Attorney for Officer in Freddie Gray Case “Wants To See Knife”, So Does Gray Family Attorney

Washington D.C.- An attorney for one of six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray has requested in court permission to examine a knife that police say they found on Gray after they pursued him April 12. In court papers, police who arrested Gray stated that he was found with … Continue reading Attorney for Officer in Freddie Gray Case “Wants To See Knife”, So Does Gray Family Attorney

Baltimore Rioter Faces Higher Bail Than Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death

Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old who turned himself in to the Baltimore police after he smashed the window of a police car with a traffic cone during a riot that followed the death of Freddie Gray, now faces a higher bail than the six police officers who were charged in Gray’s death. https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/594253480346460160 The Guardian reported … Continue reading Baltimore Rioter Faces Higher Bail Than Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death

BREAKING: Six Officers to Face Criminal Charges over Death of Freddie Gray

As Baltimore wrestles with civil unrest following the controversial April 19 death of Freddie Gray due to a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody, newly-elected Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby announced today that Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide and that all six officers involved in his arrest will face criminal charges. MSNBC notes that Mosby pointed out the fact that Gray’s arrest was illegal, as officers arrested him for possession of a switchblade despite the fact that a knife found on Gray during his arrest was not a switchblade and is legal to carry. “No crime was committed by Freddie Gray,” said Mosby.

The six Baltimore Police Department officers facing charges in Gray’s death include Officer William G. Porter, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller, Sergeant Alicia D. White, and, lastly, Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., who faces the most serious charge — second-degree depraved heart murder, carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The Department of Justice has also launched a probe into the circumstances surrounding the Freddie Gray homicide.

MSNBC reporter Trymaine Lee tweeted the full list of charges facing the six officers, which can be seen in the embedded images below.

According to The Huffington Post, Mosby said that an investigation by her office and the Baltimore Police Department found that the officers failed to secure Gray in a seat belt as he rode in a police van and that, despite the fact that Gray requested medical attention and said repeatedly that he could not breathe, officers refused to provide it. She said that the arresting officers demonstrated “willful negligence” by stopping to pick up a second suspect rather than providing medical attention for Gray.

“Accountability… you’re getting it today,” said Mosby.

Former NYPD Detective Suggests Freddie Gray Slipped and Fell Running From Police

Weighing in on possible causes of the severe spinal injury that led to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while he was in the custody of Baltimore Police, former New York Police Department Detective and current Fox News contributor Bo Dietl suggested that Gray might have “slipped and fell” while being chased by police.

Jason Downs, an attorney for the Gray gamily, told Ben Swann that the family has numerous unanswered questions pertaining to when and how Gray’s spinal cord was severed, and why he did not receive immediate medical attention. Downs also said that the police have been “given weeks to get their story straight” on what actually happened to Gray.

[pull_quote_center]“Do you think, possibly when the cops were chasing him and he was trying to get away, he could have slipped and fallen and he made an injury?” Dietl said. “By going into the van there, he made the injury worse. That could have very well happened by him banging his head.”[/pull_quote_center]

Dietl’s comments follow a report from the Washington Post on Wednesday, which claimed that according to a suspect who was in the same police transport van, and was on the other side of a metal partition, Gray was “banging against the walls” and was “intentionally trying to injure himself.

Dietl told the hosts on Fox & Friends on Thursday that in his experience as a detective, it was normal to see suspects banging their heads on the cell doors, until their heads “opened up and were bleeding” and they had to be taken to the hospital.

Dietl said that the suspects who injured themselves “were on drugs” and that he hopes Gray was tested when he was eventually taken to the hospital. “I really feel mentally he was not really with it and possibly he was on drugs,” Dietl said.

Downs told the Washington Post that the family disagrees with any implication that Gray severed his own spinal cord. “We question the accuracy of the police reports we’ve seen thus far, including the police report that says Mr. Gray was arrested without force or incident,” Downs said.

Breaking: Officers With Freddie Gray Made “Fourth, Undisclosed” Stop

Baltimore, MD- On Thursday, the Baltimore Police Department handed over their investigation into the arrest and death of Freddie Gray to the State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby. The report was handed over a day earlier than expected. Mosby, who has been on the job for 100 days, will face a critical decision of whether or not to … Continue reading Breaking: Officers With Freddie Gray Made “Fourth, Undisclosed” Stop

“Police Given Weeks To Get Story Straight on What Happened to Freddie Gray”

Baltimore, MD- Ben Swann reports from the scene of the Baltimore protests following Freddie Gray’s mysterious death after being placed in police custody. Swann interviews the Gray family lawyer who says that the six police officer’s involved in Gray’s death have been given weeks to get their story straight while the family is still waiting for answers to basic questions.

Swann also talks with Reverend R. Owens, a minister who is counseling the family, in an attempt to unravel the events going on in the city.

In addition, Swann reveals new information on one of the six officers who made the arrest of Gray, including information that the lieutenant who chased Gray, twice had accusations of domestic violence made against him by two different women.

RT reporters Anya Parampil reports live from the protests and captures the mood of the demonstrators and Manuel Rapalo delivers the latest information on the timeline leading up to and after Gray’s death.

Report: Police Brutality Protests Led To Reform Measures In 24 States

Nearly one year after Michael Brown was shot and killed by former police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, a series of protests against police brutality have led to 40 new police reform measures being passed in 24 states, which is just a fraction of all of the measures that have been proposed. An analysis conducted by … Continue reading Report: Police Brutality Protests Led To Reform Measures In 24 States

Retired Baltimore Cop Exposes Police Corruption on Joe Rogan’s Podcast

On Wednesday, former Baltimore Police Sergeant and US Marine Corps veteran Michael Wood appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to discuss police misconduct and institutional racism in the modern criminal justice system. Last month, Wood gained national media attention when he began to tweet examples of police corruption that he reportedly witnessed firsthand while on the job at the Baltimore Police Department.

When asked why police officers are often caught on video shooting unarmed suspects, Wood said, “I’m convinced that the shootings come from fear” and blamed poorly-trained officers who lack the skills to maintain control in tense situations. Wood claimed that he “could have pulled the trigger justifiably a few times” during his eleven years of service at the Baltimore Police Department but did not need to do so.

Fear is not enough justification to shoot somebody, but that’s what the law says. The law says that, if you’re in fear for your life as an officer, you can pull that trigger. That’s preposterous. You have to at least be in some semblance of containing your situation… But they feel like everybody is a threat, and you’re ingrained into this threat, so [officers] run around with fear and they shoot in a heartbeat because they’re so afraid, and then [officials] just come behind and cover it all up like nothing happened,” said Wood.

Wood also said that he believes that Bob McCulloch, prosecutor in the controversial officer-involved Michael Brown homicide, “criminally covered up” an indictment against former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson, noting that unreliable witnesses were invited to testify before a grand jury in the case, which Wood believes was done to discourage the grand jury from handing down an indictment. However, Wood said that he believes that the evidence in the case would have ultimately exonerated Wilson, but that moving forward with an indictment would have allowed the process to play out in court and prevented a civil uprising.

Wood pointed to City of Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby’s indictment of the Baltimore Six in the officer-involved death of Freddie Gray as good policy that prevented further civil strife, “Was there uprisings after she came out and said, ‘OK, we’re going to charge the officers’? No, because, it’s not that anybody’s rushing to judgment, it’s not that it’s a lynch mob, it’s let this play out in court. I think the two lower officers are going to get off. I don’t think that they did anything particularly wrong — they were following their lieutenant… but you want to hear the case and you want to know what happened.

Just because a guy has a gun, and we give him a badge, and he has a GED, and he went to eight months of training doesn’t make him above the world — it doesn’t make him a separate set of rules,” concluded Wood, commenting on the humanity of police officers.

Wood’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast can be seen in its entirety in the above-embedded video.

Baltimore Ex-Cop Tweets Claims of Eye-Witnessed Police Misconduct

On Wednesday, US Marine Corps veteran and former Baltimore police sergeant Michael A. Wood Jr. let loose on his Twitter account, detailing in a series of tweets examples of police corruption that he claims to have witnessed on the job during his 10-plus year career at the embattled Baltimore Police Department. Examples of some of the … Continue reading Baltimore Ex-Cop Tweets Claims of Eye-Witnessed Police Misconduct

Watch: Two Baltimore City Jail Correctional Officers Caught On Video Looting A 7-11

By Chuck Ross

Two correctional officers who work at the Baltimore City jail were suspended without pay Wednesday after video emerged showing them looting a 7-11 store during last month’s riots.

Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard were charged with theft and two counts of burglary, according to a statement released by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS).

Investigators DPSCS and with the Intelligence and Investigative Division responded to a tip that the pair had joined in looting a closed 7-11 convenience store near downtown Baltimore on April 25. That was the first day of major unrest following the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Investigators viewed video from the store and identified Richard and Cobb leaving with merchandise. According to The Baltimore Sun, the video showed Richard and Cobb exiting the store with Slim Jims and Tostitos, respectively. Richard is seen wearing yellow sneakers while Cobb is wearing a dark jacket.

 

Caught Looting Baltimore
Kendra Richard and Tamika Cobb looting a Baltimore 7-11 (Youtube screengrab)

According to the statement, the women worked at a Division of Correction facility located in downtown Baltimore. They were placed on leave without pay since their charges include felonies.

“Our Intelligence and Investigative Division did an outstanding job, immediately following-up on this tip,” said Stephen Moyer, secretary of DPSCS. “We will not allow the vast majority of our employees who are honest and hardworking to be tainted by the actions of a few.”

This is not the first scandal to rock the Baltimore city jailhouse. In April 2013, a federal indictment was unsealed which revealed a massive conspiracy between correctional officers and inmates.

Twenty-four correctional officers have been convicted for various offenses related to their involvement with the notorious Black Guerilla Family gang. Many of the officers had sexual relations with the gang members and helped them smuggle drugs into the facility.

WATCH:

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Baltimore Exclusive: Detained Journalist and Eyewitness Give Firsthand Account

The back story: Ford Fischer is the executive producer of News2share, co-founded with eyewitness Trey Yingst. The pair traveled to Baltimore to cover protests and riots in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death while in custody of six Baltimore police officers. At 10:08pm on May 2nd, Fischer began shooting footage of officers clearing Baltimore’s streets … Continue reading Baltimore Exclusive: Detained Journalist and Eyewitness Give Firsthand Account

No Charges For Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man Seven Times

By Chuck Ross A Madison, Wisc. police officer will not be charged in the fatal March 6 shooting of 19-year-old Tony Robinson Jr., Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday. Robinson — who had a criminal history which included armed robbery — was high on mushrooms, marijuana and Xanax when he went on a … Continue reading No Charges For Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man Seven Times

Report: Thousands Of Suspects In Baltimore Arrests Required Medical Attention

The mysterious death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who was denied medical attention and died from a severe spinal injury while in police custody, has led many to question how often suspects obtain injuries from their encounters with police officers, and how many of them receive proper medical care. The Baltimore Sun reported that according to records … Continue reading Report: Thousands Of Suspects In Baltimore Arrests Required Medical Attention

Fox News’ Shepard Smith Apologizes for Erroneous Baltimore Shooting Report

On Monday, fog-of-war reporting got the best of Fox News, as the cable TV news network erroneously reported that an African-American man had been shot on Monday while fleeing Baltimore police at the site of Freddie Gray’s arrest. In reality, the individual in question was not hurt and was arrested by police on gun charges after a handgun that he dropped discharged.

Baltimore Police Department Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Russell described the incident to CBS Baltimore as “a very short, brief foot pursuit. He pulled a handgun, or tries to pull it out. There’s a sound of a discharging, the sound of a weapon discharging. The police never discharged any weapons.” The man was reportedly arrested on gun charges and taken to the hospital in an ambulance out of an abundance of caution despite the fact that he was not injured when the gun discharged.

Inquisitr notes that Fox News‘ Mike Tobin originally said on-air that he witnessed a police officer shooting the man, “As he was running away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who was running away. It was a young, black male, and what we saw on the sidewalk, as the crime scene unfolded there, there was a revolver laying on the ground.” According to MSN, Tobin also said, “He ran right in front of us. I never saw the individual turn and do anything I would consider an aggressive act, but we did see the officer draw his weapon and I counted one gunshot.”

Reuters reported that around 100 people had gathered at the location in which the incident took place.

RT correspondent Manuel Rapalo also tweeted the erroneous report. But in Rapalo’s case he did not claim that on officer shot the suspect, only that someone was shot.  Rapalo tells Truth in Media, “Put yourself in my shoes, I see a guy running, hear a gun shot, the suspect’s hands are in the air and a police officer is standing behind him with his gun drawn.  That was when I took to Twitter. That was my mistake.”

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As soon as police confirmed that no one had been hurt, Fox News‘ Shepard Smith immediately apologized and corrected the report. Said Smith according to The Huffington Post, “Our duty as journalists is not to make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, we are duty-bound do correct them immediately and as clearly as possible. So I’m now in correction mode, and we apparently were wrong.”

The original, erroneous report can be seen in the below-embedded video player.

Baltimore Mayor Asks DOJ To Investigate City’s Police Force

At a press conference on Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the city’s police force for the practices of excessive use of force and civil rights violations. Rawlings-Blake said that she sees this investigation as an “essential” part of the process to “reform serious patterns and … Continue reading Baltimore Mayor Asks DOJ To Investigate City’s Police Force