How does a city set a price on a wrongful death or a severe injury at the hands of police? How does the settlement for Gray’s family compare to other municipal settlements? Some noteworthy examples from the past 25 years:
- Family of Amadou Diallo: $3 million ($3.8 million in 2015 dollars). Four white officers saw Diallo, a 22-year-old black man, reach for what they thought was a gun. It was his wallet. The New York City officers fired 41 bullets, killing Diallo. All four were acquitted at trial.
- Family of James Quarles III: $3 million ($4.3 million in 2015 dollars). Quarles was 22 when he was fatally shot by a Baltimore police officer. He had a knife, but did not raise it, authorities said after the shooting, which was captured on video. The officer who shot him was not charged.
- Rodney King: $3.8 million ($6.2 million in 2015 dollars). The four white police officers who beat King, who was black, in 1991 were found not guilty of assault and excessive force. The video of the beating, and the subsequent acquittal of the officers, sparked a riot that killed 53 people in Los Angeles.
- Family of Eric Garner: $5.9 million. Garner died in 2014 after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold. His last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a catchphrase at protests nationwide. The officer was not charged.
- Albert Mosley: $6 million ($7.3 million in 2015 dollars). Mosley was in a Baltimore jail on a probation violation. He argued with an officer, who Mosley said then threw him headfirst against a wall although he was handcuffed. Mosley was paralyzed. The officer was cleared of wrongdoing in an internal investigation.
- Abner Louima: $8.75 million ($11.8 million in 2015 dollars). Louima was tortured in 1997 by a New York City police officer who mistakenly thought that Louima had punched him. The officer, who sexually assaulted Louima and caused him severe internal injuries, pleaded guilty to the assault, and a second officer was convicted of holding Louima down while the officer attacked him. Both officers were white, and Louima was black.
- Carlton Brown: $16.6 million ($26.6 million in 2015 dollars). Brown was arrested for driving with a suspended license in New York City in 1992. He said that the two officers slammed his head into his van door; they said that he resisted arrest and all three of them fell down, causing him to hit his head. The officers were acquitted at trial. Brown, who came to New York from Jamaica and was paralyzed from the chest down, told the New York Times when he received the settlement that he hoped it would pay for therapy so that “I will be able to feed myself at least.”
- Family of LaTanya Haggerty: $18 million ($25 million in 2015 dollars). Haggerty, a 26-year-old computer analyst who had just gotten engaged, was a passenger in a car when the driver tried to evade a traffic stop. A police officer saw what she thought was a gun in Haggerty’s hand and fatally shot her, though Haggerty was holding only a cell phone. The officer who shot Haggerty and two more officers were fired.
- Christina Eilman: $22.5 million. Eilman was a 21-year-old UCLA student when she was arrested for acting erratically at Midway Airport in Chicago. Police held her overnight, during which she acted psychotically for hours. Despite her mental illness, police released her alone in a high-crime neighborhood. She was raped that night, then fell from a seventh-story window, suffering severe injuries.