Baltimore City officials approve $300,000 settlement for Anthony Anderson wrongful death lawsuit

Anderson died in police custody in 2012
Posted at 11:52 AM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 18:39:58-05

No amount of money will bring back Anthony Anderson, or fill the hole left in his family's hearts.  But their attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon says the $300,000 settlement will help bring them closure, almost five years after the 46-year-old died in police custody.

"What it means is that there's no longer any uncertainty, the cost and expenses are not continuing to accrue, they can grieve appropriately as a family, they can move on as a family, and the city can move on as a community," he said.

The city’s Board of Estimates gave the settlement the green light Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Officer's cleared in death of Anthony Anderson

Back in September of 2012, Anderson was walking to his East Baltimore home when he was confronted by city police and tackled to the ground.  Multiple people witnessed the violent encounter.

"When they grabbed him, they pinned his arms to the side and he come straight up, and slammed him on his neck, collar bone like," Dereck Jackson said in September 2012.

"I watched the police pick my son up over his head and threw him down on the ground, what else do you want?  Then they started kicking," said Anderson’s mother, Edith Fletcher in October 2012.

Hours later, Anderson was dead.          

Initially, investigators said he choked on drugs he was trying to hide from officers.  Loved ones were outraged.

"We want these officers fired, we want them arrested, and we want them convicted,” Anderson’s sister, Nancy Harvey said in October 2012.  “Because if it was a normal citizen who committed homicide they would be behind bars."

The Baltimore State's Attorney at the time didn't charge any of the officers involved, saying there was no excessive force used.           

However, the medical examiner's report ruled Anderson’s death a homicide, saying it was fractured ribs, a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding that killed him.

"When you look at the totality of the circumstances in this case, it's clear to me that there was no crime committed here," University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said in December 2013.

RELATED: City has paid millions in wrongful death settlements

In 2013, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and have had to relive the tragic day over and over again preparing for trial.           

Gordon says that played a role in their decision to settle with the city.

"There's a lot of anxiety, a lot of emotional distress and litigation just wears on people, it's very difficult on family, it's very difficult indeed."

According to an online city salary database, all three officers involved in Anderson’s death are still employed by the BPD.

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