City to pay $160,000 to settle two alleged police misconduct cases
Baltimore’s spending panel is expected to approve $160,000 in settlements today to resolve alleged police wrongful death and brutality suits, including one involving a 30-year-old man who died in custody.
The Board of Estimates is poised to pay $100,000 to the estate of Trayvon Scott. A suspect in an attempted murder, Scott complained and yelled to police that his handcuffs were too tight while he was inside a holding cell in February 2015, about an hour and a half after police apprehended him in North Baltimore.
Police found Scott hiding under a porch in the 4700 block of Old York Road after a brief foot chase. While police waited for a transport vehicle to arrive, Scott told Officer Daniel Starr that he had asthma and needed water, according to a summary on the board’s agenda.
Officers contend that Scott did not display any signs of experiencing an asthma attack, but a relative of the suspect and another person who witnessed the episode say Scott could not breathe. Scott was taken to the Northern District police station, where he was placed in a holding cell.
“After a short period of time, the yelling stopped, and the silence alerted the officers that something was wrong,” the board summary reads. “When the officers entered the holding cell, they found Mr. Scott unresponsive on his back.”
Starr, who was a nearly 20-year member of the force at the time, tried to resuscitate Scott. Scott was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
City officials recommend the board settle the case due to “conflicting factual issues, the fact that the matter involves a fatality, and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts.”
In another case, the spending board is expected to pay $60,000 to settle a misconduct case stemming from a 2013 traffic stop. Police stopped Sheena Smith for allegedly driving without a front license plate on her vehicle. She was arrested after a physical altercation with Officer Marc Jones, according to the board summary.
The board memo did not detail the alleged altercation, or specify what injuries Smith may have received. She alleged assault, battery, false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Officials recommended settling the case due to “conflicting factual issues and objective injuries suffered by” Smith.