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Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter4:33 pmJan 27, 20140

City to settle case of drunk and armed police officer

A $200,000 settlement reached with the widow of an ex-Marine gunned down by off-duty police officer in 2010

Above: Former Baltimore City officer Gahiji Tshamba was convicted of manslaughter in 2011 and is now in prison.

Baltimore City is set to pay $200,000 to the widow and children of a Marine veteran killed outside a Mt. Vernon nightclub by an intoxicated off-duty police officer.

An out-of-court settlement has been reached with Loren Brown, wife of Tyrone Brown, an Iraqi war veteran who was shot dead on June 5, 2010 by Gahiji A. Tshamba, a Baltimore police officer with a history of alcohol abuse and professional misconduct.

Tshamba was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2011 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The much-publicized case involved a confrontation between Brown and Tshamba after Brown had touched a female companion of Tshamba’s.

“Deliberate Indifference”

Tshamba had been drinking heavily before he drew his pistol and shot Brown 12 times outside the Red Maple lounge.

It was later found that Tshamba, then 36, had been involved in questionable instances since at least 1998, when he shot a suspect in the back after mistakenly believing the person had opened fire. (That incident led to a departmental commendation.)

In 2005, while off-duty, Tshamba shot a man in the foot while found to be driving drunk. A year later, he crashed his car into a light pole while driving without insurance or registration.

In 2011, a federal judge ruled that Brown’s widow, Loren Brown, and two children could proceed with a civil lawsuit seeking damages against then-Police Chief Frederick H. Bealefeld III and other city officials for failing to properly discipline Tshamba and to allow him to continue to carry a gun.

The city had sought to dismiss the case, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled that the suit offered sufficient evidence of “deliberate indifference” by the Baltimore Police Department and the potential for “municipal liability” to go to trial.

The $200,000 settlement with Tyrone Brown’s family is on the Board of Estimates agenda for Wednesday and is expected to be approved by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other board members.

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