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Baltimore to pay $2.5M to settle police corruption claims

November 3rd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Baltimore officials are set to approve nearly $2.5 million in payments to resolve claims that officers in a rogue police unit brutalized, robbed and falsely arrested residents. The Baltimore Sun reports that the city’s Board of Estimates is scheduled Wednesday to approve payments to 11 people in a second round of settlements related to the police department’s corruption-plagued Gun Trace Task Force. The latest round of payments would raise the total to $2.7 million for 21 people who sued.

“It’s high time that they atone for the city’s behavior,” said Baltimore attorney Latoya Francis-Williams, who represents a man set to receive a $500,000 settlement.

Her client, Garfield Redd, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in 2007 for a firearm-related conviction. His lawsuit claims police planted a gun on him. Redd remains in prison.

“We’re grateful that Mr. Redd is able to put this portion of his tragic event behind him, but he is still on the path to clearing his name,” Francis-Williams said.

City Solicitor Dana Moore’s office said in a statement included on the Board of Estimates’ agenda that it believes the settlements are “in the best interest of both the city and the plaintiffs who may have been harmed.”

“As with all lawsuits, the law department analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each case upon receipt of the complaint,” the city’s attorneys wrote.

Eight former members of the task force were convicted of racketeering and sentenced to federal prison.