Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force settlements now top $16 million after two more approved
BALTIMORE – Baltimore's spending board approved Wednesday a combined $645,000 in settlements involving the city's disgraced Gun Trace Task Force.
The two men bringing lawsuits, Alex Holden and Jamar Bowles, each served more than two years in prison before charges were ultimately vacated.
Both claimed there was no probable cause and city officers planted drugs during their respective arrests in 2012 and 2013.
"We are not confident we would be able to obtain a favorable verdict from a jury," Baltimore City attorney James Corley told the Board of Estimates Wednesday.
The two settlements bring the total GTTF payouts to $16.1 million over 37 cases, Corley said.
"Sixteen million dollars in these lawsuits could have built a new rec center in Baltimore City and that's the thing we should be thinking about," Mayor Brandon Scott said following the meeting. "We can't continue to have those kinds of things happen, which is why our Consent Decree is so important, why our reforms are so important."
There are still five active cases involving the GTTF, including one filed this past weekend, the City's Law Department said.
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