Offer of $6.4 Million is Made by Baltimore to Freddie Gray’s Family
As wrongful death lawyers we are frequently asked the question what is the value of a life. If a high profile case in Baltimore is anything to go by a life can be worth as much as $6.4 million.
The New York Times reported that the City of Baltimore has offered the family of Freddie Gray who died in police custody earlier in the year, $6.4 million. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the award earlier this week. The award will be paid as $2.8 million in the current financial year and $3.6 million in the year beginning in July 2016.
The death of the 25-year-old black man from a spinal cord injury while in police custody, set off riots in Baltimore. The high profile nature of the case may have led to a higher award, although no amount of money can compensate for a death.
The proposed settlement will be taken up by the Board of Estimates – the panel that approves the City of Baltimore’s contracts and purchases. The Mayor said in a statement the payout does not “constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, the Baltimore Police Department, individual Baltimore police officers” or anyone else who might have been responsible for the death.
Judicial hearings are just beginning in the cases of six officers who face criminal charges in Gray’s death.
Gray was arrested on April 12 in West Baltimore. His death on April 19 led to two weeks of predominantly peaceful protests, followed by a night of burning, rioting and looting. The homicide rate in the city soared after the riots.
Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, claims the officers improperly arrested Gray and loaded him into a van, flouting the rules, without required safety restraints. Mosby has argued Gray suffered the spinal cord injury in the van. She claims the police officers ignored his pleas for help during the ride.
Over the last year we have seen a spate of high profile cases in which victims have been killed by police officers in questionable circumstances, including in Norfolk. In some cities such as Ferguson in Missouri and Baltimore, the deaths led to public disorder.
If you lose a loved one at the hands of a police department, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. I represented the family of a young man who was killed by police officers outside a Wells Fargo bank in Ghent in Norfolk.
Call our experienced wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.