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The Dripby Mark Reutter1:18 pmAug 24, 20110

City pays grandmother to settle another police misconduct suit

The city Board of Estimates today paid $30,000 to an East Baltimore woman who said she was injured by two Baltimore City police officers when she went to the aid of her grandson.

And in a separate action today, the board paid $31,802.37 to Milton G. Smith III, a Baltimore police officer acquitted of kidnapping two West Baltimore teenagers and dumping them in Howard County.

Under city rules, a suspended police officer acquitted of a felony is entitled to back pay. Today’s award represents Smith’s back pay between May 5, 2010 and May 5, 2011. (City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young voted against the award.)

In the East Baltimore case, Barbara Floyd filed a lawsuit against Detective Joseph Grossman and Sergeant Edward Davis, both of the Southeastern Police District. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident that took place on North Montford Avenue on March 31, 2009.

According to a memorandum filed by the city solicitor’s office, Grossman and Davis were arresting a suspected drug dealer near Floyd’s house when her grandson, Michael Isler, approached the officers yelling.

Floyd said she attempted to escort her grandson back to their house when she got entangled with the officers and sustained injuries to her face, head, knee and wrist while being arrested. The officers said Floyd attempted to pull her grandson away from Detective Grossman while the man was being arrested for failing to obey a police officer.

Floyd was charged with assault, which was later dropped by the state’s attorney’s office.

City Solicitor George Nilson told The Brew today that the city does not believe the officers did anything wrong during the arrest, but that the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts made it advantageous to settle the lawsuit before going to trial.

So far this year, alleged misconduct by Baltimore police officers have cost the city more than $900,000, Nilson acknowledged. The City Council is planning to hold hearings on the use of taxpayer dollars to resolve police-involved litigation next month.

The latest city budget includes $1.9 million to settle lawsuits alleging police misconduct. We have written about recent misconduct cases here, here and here.

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