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City Settles $44 Million Police Abuse Suit For $2 Million

City Settles $44 Million Police Abuse Suit For $2 Million

The Baltimore Sun via YellowBrix

December 24, 2009

BALTIMORE – In August 2006, a Baltimore jury awarded Albert Mosley $44 million after concluding that he became paralyzed when a city police officer threw him against a jail cell wall.

Baltimore officials have now agreed to pay less than 5 percent of that amount, with the city’s spending panel approving $2 million Wednesday to settle the matter.

The vote ends years of litigation, but the final payout has left Mosley’s attorney “outraged” even after he negotiated the deal.

Maryland Policing

“That all we can do is pay $2 million to a quadriplegic under these circumstances should tell the public that the city has no heart or soul about the victims of police brutality,” said attorney William H. Murphy Jr.

Many lawyers in Murphy’s position ultimately determine that accepting a smaller one-time payment from the city is preferable to trying to recoup a larger amount through a percentage of the officer’s wages over time.

City Solicitor George A. Nilson said that he never agreed with the jury’s finding, saying that the officer, Bryan Kershaw, was “just doing his job.” Nilson called the incident a “terrible accident.”

Police union President Robert F. Cherry complimented the city for “standing behind” Kershaw. Kershaw could not be reached for comment.

The confrontation occurred in June 2003, after Mosley was arrested for a probation violation. Intoxicated and handcuffed, Mosley became loud and unruly behind bars at the Western District police station. Kershaw got into a yelling match with Mosley and entered the cell.

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