04-25-2018  11:43 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Event: Going Beyond the Flint Water & Housing Crises

Recode invites speakers to discuss the Flint water crisis and its relationship to gentrification, displacement, and housing crises ...

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Pastor Westley West, from Faith Empowered Ministries, leads protesters as they march towards Pratt Street and the Inner Harbor, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Baltimore, as the first court hearing was set to begin in the case of six police officers criminally charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Six police officers face charges that range from second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP
By The Skanner News

BALTIMORE (AP) — The family of Freddie Gray, who died after being critically injured in police custody, reached a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with the city of Baltimore, resolving civil claims about a week after the first hearing in the criminal case against six police officers, officials said Tuesday.

Six Baltimore police officers face criminal charges stemming from Gray's death. Gray, who was black, was critically injured April 12 in the back of a prisoner transport van after he was arrested. His death sparked protests, rioting and unrest that shook Baltimore for days.

The settlement still needs the approval of a board that oversees city spending. The board meets Wednesday.

"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."

The settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers. The settlement has nothing whatsoever to do with the criminal proceedings, the press release said.

Initial police reports said Gray was arrested with a knife, though whether Gray was legally carrying that knife is sure to be a centerpiece of the case as it moves to trial. Prosecutors say it's legal under a city ordinance, while defense attorneys argue that it's a switchblade, and thus illegal under both city and state law.

All six officers, including Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, are charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter also face a manslaughter charge, while Officer Caesar Goodson faces the most serious charge of all: second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.

Three of the officers are black and three are white.

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