At a press conference on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015, Billy Murphy, attorney for the family of Freddie Gray, announced a $6.4 million settlement in the family’s wrongful death case against the City of Baltimore.
In addition to the financial settlement, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake pledged to implement body cameras for all of the city’s police officers-a key priority for the Gray family. According to the mayor, body cameras could begin deployment in the Western Police District (where Freddie Gray’s arrest took place, which eventually led to his death while in police custody) as soon as October, as part of a 150-officer pilot program that will determine which camera system to deploy city-wide.
The settlement mediation process was overseen by Judge Alexander Williams Jr., a retired U.S. District Court Judge from the Maryland District with over 20 years of experience on the bench. Judge Williams served as an independent mediator facilitating the conversation between the Gray family and the City of Baltimore. At the press conference announcing the settlement, he said: “I am pleased to have been able to assist in this effort, and I believe that the resolution is fair and reasonable.”
Mr. Murphy said he believed the settlement was in the best interest of both the family and the city at large. “We have accomplished this settlement without litigation,” he said. “A lengthy litigation puts the grieving family through hell…it could have easily taken three years to resolve and no grieving family, nor our city, wants to go through that.”
“It is my intense desire, and I think I reflect the community as a whole, that that camera program be implemented as quickly and as responsibly as is humanly possible,” Mr. Murphy continued. “This about preventing future violence. This is about calming down the city. This is about making sure innocent people aren’t charged with crime and innocent police officers are not charged with police misconduct.”
Addressing Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Mr. Murphy said: “I speak on behalf of all the members of Freddie Gray’s family, including his stepfather, when I thank you and your colleagues for your leadership in making sure that Freddie Gray did not die in vain.”
Listen to the full audio here.