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The Baltimore city board approved a $6.4 million settlement Wednesday in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal spinal injury while in police custody earlier this year.
The settlement amount is bigger than the combined total of all 120 lawsuits filed against Baltimore police for brutality and misconduct since 2011, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement that the deal does not admit guilt of the city, its police department or the six police officers charged in the ongoing case. Separate trials for the officers will begin in October, months after Gray’s April 19 death sparked several days of protests.
Rawlings-Blake also said the deal, partly, “avoids costly and protracted litigation” that would “potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.”
And as for Gray’s family, the mayor added that she hopes the settlement “represents an opportunity to bring closure.”
The charges against the officers range from assault to murder, including a single “depraved heart” murder charge. All have pleaded not guilty.
Joshua Barajas is the arts editor for the NewsHour. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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