02-24-2018  12:12 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Breaking Bread Breaking Barriers, Feb. 26

Monthly dinner aims to build relationships between communities of color and police ...

Local Group Researches African American Ancestry

This Genealogical Forum of Oregon special interest group holds monthly meetings ...

Last Day to Apply for Affordable Housing is Feb. 22

Longtime and displaced residents of N/NE Portland receive preference for new housing, apply before midnight Thursday ...

NAACP Announces Key Partnerships

Voter mobilization for 2018 midterm elections takes precedence among issues uniting groups ...

Winter Donations Needed, Warming Centers Open Through Thursday

Locals encouraged to check on neighbors, winter gear needed ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Painting President Obama's Portrait Was Life-Changing

Artist Kehinde Wiley represented the president's life using color, composition and flowers ...

Raising Emotionally Competent Children

Lynnette Monroe on how her grandparents taught her to love herself ...

Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers

Black consumers are spending jumi.2 trillion annually and are demanding that brands speak to them in ways that resonate...

Guest Opinion: Skipper Osborne’s Testimony on HB 4005

In testimony to legislature, Osborne says bill could decrease access to important therapies ...

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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