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Kerik Slams $6.4M Freddie Gray Settlement: 'Death Warrant' for Officers

Kerik Slams $6.4M Freddie Gray Settlement: 'Death Warrant' for Officers

By    |   Tuesday, 08 September 2015 04:00 PM

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik Tuesday slammed the proposed $6.4 million wrongful death settlement the city of Baltimore reached with the family of Freddie Gray, telling Newsmax TV that "this is almost a death warrant for these cops."

"This is going to help convict the cops," Kerik, who oversaw the city's police force during the 9/11 attacks, said in an interview. "This is a miscarriage of justice. It's wrong — and they're influencing the jury pool."

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Tuesday that the city had reached the proposed settlement about a week after the first hearing in the criminal case against the six officers.

Gray, 25, who was black, was critically injured April 12 in the back of a prisoner transport van operated by the police after he was arrested. His death sparked protests, rioting and unrest that shook Baltimore for days.

The settlement, which is expected to resolve any civil claims against the city, still needs the approval of a board that oversees city spending. The board meets Wednesday.

"The proposed settlement agreement going before the board of estimates should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial," Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. "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."

The settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers. The settlement has nothing to do with the criminal proceedings, the release said.

Kerik was vehement towards Rawlings-Blake.

"The mayor said that it should not be interpreted as a judgement on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial," he told Newsmax. "She has to be completely naïve if she doesn't think that this settlement is going to have an impact on their trial.

"It's outrageous and it's irresponsible for the city, for this settlement at all, pending the trial of these officers," he added. "I honestly think this is an attempt by the city to influence the jury pool in favor of the Gray family.

"Nobody in their right mind would believe that this isn't going to have an impact in the jury's decision in a criminal trial against those cops."

The officers are already "sentenced to a life of collateral damage, regardless of what the conviction is," Kerik added. "These men and women are charged with manslaughter and murder. They're supposed to go before a jury, a fair and unobstructed jury.

"You cannot tell me that this decision, this proposed settlement and settlement if it comes to be, is not going to have a negative impact on their trial. It's completely outrageous and irresponsible of the city and an attempt for the city to negatively impact the trial of these cops."

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. Young, a member of the Board of Estimates, was expected to support the payment, said spokesman Lester Davis.

“The council president felt strongly that the matter of the settlement needed to be addressed, because you have a situation where a lengthy legal proceeding in terms of the civil case would not necessarily be in the best interest of the city," Davis told The Baltimore Sun.

At this stage, the only recourse the officers have is to seek a change of venue, Kerik told Newsmax.

"The civil issue is based on the actions of the cops, with the prosecutor saying that they’re criminal. How does it not have an impact on the jury's decision as the guilt or not?

"These men and women are never, ever going to get a fair trial in this case," Kerik said. "They're just not. It's outrageous."

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Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik Tuesday slammed the proposed $6.4 million wrongful death settlement the city of Baltimore reached with the family of Freddie Gray, telling Newsmax that this is almost a death warrant for these cops. This is going to...
kerik, gray, settlement, death, warrant, officers
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2015-00-08
Tuesday, 08 September 2015 04:00 PM
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