Baltimore’s Board of Estimates has approved the $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal injury while in police custody, which sparked outrage across the city, NPR reports.
According to the report, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who sits on the board, said that the settlement will help the city “avoid continuing anxiety and distraction,” adding that city attorneys found that taking the case to court would have been more costly.
The settlement does not acknowledge any guilt in Gray’s death, according to NPR. Rawlings-Blake added that while she understood that the money would not bring Gray back, she hoped that it would give the family a “measure of closure.”
The settlement is not related to the criminal charges that have been brought against the six officers involved in Gray’s death, and Rawlings-Blake added that it does not “represent any judgment” on the guilt or innocence of those officers, whose charges range from assault and misconduct in office to murder.
Not everyone, however, is happy with the settlement. According to CNN, the head of Baltimore’s police union, which represents the accused officers, called the settlement “obscene” and “ridiculous.”
“To suggest that there is any reason to settle prior to the adjudication of the pending criminal cases is obscene and without regard to the fiduciary responsibility owed to [taxpayers],” Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, told CNN. “There has been no civil litigation filed; nor has there been any guilt determined that would require such a ridiculous reaction.”
Ryan reportedly encouraged the city committee to toss the settlement agreement. “This news threatens to interrupt any progress made toward restoring the relationship between the members of the Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore city government,” he insisted.