Another sweaty day in the mid 90s, with the chance of storms later. Tomorrow will be rainy, with highs in the 80s.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will ask the city’s Board of Estimates to pay Freddie Gray’s family $6.4 million to avoid a civil lawsuit. The board is expected to approve the settlement today. In a statement, Rawlings-Blake says that while the settlement accepts civil liability in Gray’s arrest and death, it’s not an admission of guilt on behalf of the officers.
Rawlings-Blake: “This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city, and avoids costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal and potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.”
Some, like former mayor Kurt Schmoke, praised the settlement as an attempt to heal the city’s wounds or pre-empt future unrest, others like Del. Curt Anderson questioned whether the settlement was a cheap stand-in for justice in the case. The local police union called offering a settlement ahead of a criminal trial “obscene.”
Legal experts anticipate that the settlement will come up during tomorrow’s hearing about whether trials for the six officers should be moved out of the city. The defense could argue that the settlement could bias potential jurors to believe that the city already admitted wrongdoing.
Former Episcopal bishop Heather Cook pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other crimes for the December 2014 death of cyclist Tom Palermo.Cook was scheduled to stand trial this week for charges related to fatally striking Palermo with her SUV while drunk and texting, then fleeing the scene of the crash. Sentencing will take place on October 27th. Prosecutors say they’ll ask for a sentence that would put Cook behind bars for 10 years.
With temperatures in 90s every school day since opening last Tuesday, Baltimore City Schools have stayed open, despite the lack of air conditioning in many schools. Parents, teachers, and students are complaining about sweltering classrooms, while the district takes to Facebook to defend its decision to stay open, saying they’re monitoring the situation and taking guidance from city-wide “Code Red” weather alerts. Yesterday, Baltimore County Schools, also not fully air-conditioned, dismissed early.
A 45-year-old man was shot and killed in northwest Baltimore’s East Arlington neighborhood late Monday night. Police say Stonie Baker was attacked by an unknown gunman while unloading his vehicle.
Baltimore is trying to get wheels turning on a city-wide bike share program again. The city is seeking proposals from vendors looking to manage the bike share program, as well as potential hosts for stations and sponsors for the system. The goal is to launch a program with at least 250 bikes and 25 stations. Previously, Baltimore’s bike share plans went flat when the vendor selected to run the program went bankrupt in 2014.