City to pay $100,000 to settle suit alleging ‘rough ride’ by police
Baltimore’s spending panel is set to pay $100,000 to a women who alleges she was injured by a “rough ride” while in police custody.
The city’s Board of Estimates is scheduled to approve the payment Wednesday to settle a lawsuit filed by Cierra Brooks, who says she was injured during a ride in the back of a Baltimore police van after being beaten and arrested in 2012.
The lawsuit alleges Brooks was waiting for a ride outside a nightclub on Aug. 21, 2012, when a police officer assaulted her, dragging her through the street before tossing her inside a police transport van. Inside the van, the suit says, Brooks was handcuffed but not secured in a seat belt, and as a result “was thrown about and injured as the wagon was driven.”
City lawyers say in a memo to board members that Officer Abdulsalam Ajikobi and other officers were responding to Eden’s Lounge in Midtown for a report of a fight among about 20 people as the bar was closing. Ajikobi and other officers were “attempting to clear the area” when Ajikobi encountered Brooks, the memo states.
“The situation escalated and resulted in the arrest of the Plaintiff,” city lawyers said. “There are conflicting accounts regarding the nature and extent of the interaction.” Brooks sued, seeking $7.6 million. City lawyers said they proposed the settlement “because of conflicting factual issues and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts.”
Brooks is represented by lawyer William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr., a former judge who represents the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died after suffering injuries inside a police van.
The city’s Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Stephanie RawlingsBlake, agreed to pay Gray’s family $6.4 million to settle a suit that had yet to be filed.