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Baltimore City considers paying $195k to settle lawsuits involving Gun Trace Task Force members

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Posted at 7:46 PM, Jan 22, 2022

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City's Board of Estimates on Wednesday considered paying $195,000 to settle lawsuits against the police department and members of the disgraced Gun Trace Task Force.

One lawsuit was filed by Kyle Knox who was arrested back in October 2012 on drug charges. He pleaded guilty and went on to serve nearly two-years in prison.

Knox's conviction was later vacated in October 2019, almost two-years after one of the officers who arrested him, Daniel Hersl, was federally convicted of racketeering.

After the case against him was tossed, Knox sued saying police had no probable cause to stop him in the first place.

He named Hersl in the lawsuit, claiming he and another officer planted the drugs on him at the time he was arrested.

The board on Wednesday also debated whether to pay another $75,000 to settle with Shaune Berry, who threatened to sue over allegations of false arrest in February of 2011.

Berry spent approximately two-years behind bars after pleading guilty to drug and gun charges.

His conviction was thrown out in November 2019 after one of the officers who arrested him, Momodu Gondo, pleaded to federal RICO violations.

Berry said later that officers had no cause to stop him, and accused Gondo of planting the drugs and firearms on him at the time he was arrested.

News of the proposed settlements come six-days after an exhaustive 500 plus page report was released, detailing the roots of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force.

RELATED: In Focus look into the 500+ page Gun Trace Task Force investigative report

More than 800 criminal cases have been dropped, including convictions, because they were tainted by the task force's involvement.

Courts in the past have also ordered the police department to payout other settlements from lawsuits that stemmed from the scandal. The department has previously argued that the officers involved acted outside the scope of their employment when they committed the crimes.