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The Dripby Mark Reutter12:45 pmSep 3, 20140

$40,000 to settle police excessive force case

Mayor and Board of Estimates approves the settlement to avoid a jury trial

The Board of Estimates today approved a $40,000 settlement with a 36-year-old man who accused three Baltimore police officers of using excessive force during a struggle at his Northeast apartment in 2010.

The officers came to the residence of Alex C. Dickson to help his former girlfriend pick up items pursuant to a protective order she had obtained against him. Dickson allegedly refused to allow Officer James Wilder entry to the apartment and exhibited threatening behavior.

Wilder responded by grabbing Dickson to place him under arrest. “A significant physical struggle took place between Officer Wilder, which caused Officers Michael Valerio and Gary Brown to assist,” according to the settlement sheet presented to the spending board this morning.

Dickson was subdued by the officers, who sprayed him with mace. He was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was treated for “significant injuries, including to his teeth, nose and ribs.”

Dickson filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court alleging false arrest, assault and battery, malicious prosecution and violation of the Maryland Declaration of Rights. Because of conflicting accounts of the incident and “legal concerns regarding the lawfulness of the arrest,” the city elected to settle the case rather than go to trial.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the other board members approved the settlement without comment.

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