Auriana Melendez-Garcia, Contributing Writer
After months of waiting, the family of Freddie Gray has agreed with the City of Baltimore to accept a settlement of $6.4 million for the wrongful death of Gray in mid-April.
The medical examination has proved that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide. Thus, before any trial has taken place and while charges against officers are still pending, the City of Baltimore has agreed to the settlement in the best interest of the city. The Baltimore Police Union isn’t very pleased with the decision and considers the agreement to be offensive. The $6.4 million is waiting to be approved by the Baltimore’s Board of Estimates this upcoming Wednesday. If it is approved, the family will receive $2.8 million this fiscal year and the rest, $3.6 million, in the next fiscal year in July.
Gray, a 25-year-old black male, was arrested on April 12 and died on April 19 due to a severe spine injury caused while under police custody. On the date of Freddie Gray’s arrest, several images from security cameras show him running away from the police.
Officers frisked and arrested Gray, then immobilized him using a technique called “leg lace,” where his feet were forcefully bent toward his back. Gray was cuffed and placed in the police car as shown by videos taken by pedestrians. It also can be seen in several videos that when Gray was lifted by officers and dragged towards the car, he asked for medical aid.
Once in the car, Gray was taken for a “nickel ride” or “rough ride,” a practice implemented commonly by officers in which the moving vehicle is abruptly stopped. The goal is to hit and/or scare the arrested person seated in the back of the car.
At one of the several stops, officers took Freddie Gray out of the car to fill out proper paperwork. Once finished, Gray was ankle-cuffed and thrown in the car to continue the “rough ride.” Gray asked for medical assistance again, stating he wasn’t able to breathe, but the officers ignored Gray’s requests.
The autopsy results revealed that Gray’s cause of death was the result of the injuries and trauma he obtained while in police custody. On April 27, the date of Gray’s funeral, protests and riots went on throughout the city of Baltimore. Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, called on the National Guard and Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, to implement a curfew.
Blake recently announced that she would not be running for re-election.
Six police officers are currently facing trial for the death of Gray. Every officer will be individually tried as soon as next month within Baltimore’s jurisdiction, as announced last Thursday. The Prosecutor will be Marilyn Mosby.
On September 10, while the pre-trial was taking place, a peaceful protest occurred outside the courthouse. During this protest, there was an estimated 500 people gathered, and together they screamed from the top of their lungs, “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!”
Although a settlement was reached between the Gray family and the City of Baltimore, there is still more mending that needs to be done.