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Businesses damaged during 2015 unrest set to get $3.5 million settlement

city of baltimore
Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 18:22:47-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City's Board of Estimates is set to approve a $3.5 million settlement with 68 businesses damaged during the April 2015 unrest following Freddie Gray's death.

This appears on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting and the lawyer for the 68 businesses said the settlement closes the book on a long chapter in his clients lives.

The group of businesses originally estimated the damage from the unrest at about $6.5 million and filed the lawsuit in 2017. They filed on the grounds that the city violated the Maryland Riot Act and failed to protect their businesses as the unrest unfolded.

The plaintiffs had the option to take this to trial but ended up settling with the City.

The agenda states that, "While the City can present credible evidence that BPD and the City handled the unrest appropriately and that the deescalation techniques employed were appropriate, the unpredictable nature of jury verdicts, the cost of further litigation (including expert expenses), and the fact that the settlement takes into account the risks to both sides with proceeding recommend this settlement as a fair resolution to this matter."

For their part, the City said it believes the resolution is in the best interest of its residents.

The settlement was reached back in February and is set to be approved at the Board of Estimates meeting Wednesday morning.

Gray was arrested on April 12, 2015 and died a week later from injuries he sustained while in police custody. His death sparked unrest across Baltimore.

The city's unrest led Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to charge the six officers involved in Gray's arrest. All of the officers either received "not guilty" verdicts or charges were dropped against them.

After the death of Gray, the Department of Justice found Baltimore Police violated the civil rights of its residents, specifically its black residents. BPD agreed to a consent decree to reform the department in 2017.