Covered at Reason 24/7: False Imprisonment Costs Baltimore $150K

The police of the fine city of Baltimore are hard at work — costing the taxpayers a fortune. It seems they locked up a man based on the assumption that he'd helped knock over a Chinese restaurant. They assumed his guilt because they'd been told that "Mookie" was the second culprit (they already had a guy in custody), and "Mookie" must be Darren Brown. But he wasn't. Which they admitted only after Brown had been locked up for seven months. That was three months after the first suspect's mother had identified her nephew as the real "Mookie."

From Baltimore Brew:

An innocent man imprisoned for seven months by Baltimore police on the basis of his reputed nickname will be awarded $150,000 to settle his lawsuit.

The Board of Estimates is set to pay the sum tomorrow to Darren Brown, who charged four police officers with acting “with deliberate and/or reckless disregard for the truth” while conducting an investigation of an August 2008 shooting at a Chinese carry-out on Harford Rd.

The case was settled after U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett denied a motion by the four defendants to dismiss the suit. The cash settlement will terminate the case, with the proviso that the plaintiff and his lawyers not publicly discuss the lawsuit.

The Brown case is the latest of scores of settlements since 2008 – costing taxpayers an average of $3.5 million a year – paid to citizens who have accused police of misconduct. Included in these fees are as much as $700,000 a year that the city spends for outside counsel defending officers from lawsuits.

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  • Sevo||

    150K?! Meh; that's one trash-collector's annual retirement.

  • A Serious Man||

    Yeah but it's justice because clearly the money is coming out of those cops' retirement funds. Right?

  • Sevo||

    Hey, Bawmer is a piker!
    "Alameda County rewards boss: $400k…for life"

  • A Serious Man||

    In addition to the incompetence of the cops in this case, someone at the DA's office also must be at fault for not keeping track of who's been locked up and charged with what.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Have the DA serve 21 months and pay the settlement out of the police pension fund = this crap doesn't happen again.

  • ||

    That's terrible. You're taking gas out of the tank of some Police Officer's jet-ski. The taxpayer is responsible for this.

  • sarcasmic||

    The cops meant well and that's all that matters. Intentions are all that matter. I mean, they knew he was a piece of shit criminal. Anyone who goes by the nickname "Mookie" must be up to no good. He got what he deserved. What was his name? Darren Brown? Obviously a nigger with a name like that. No nigger with a street name is on the level. Dude got what he deserved. So what if he gets a payday. He'll just spend it on drugs. He'll eventually get busted and taken off the streets. What matters is that the officers involved are safe. That's all that matters.

  • jorgeborges||

    I don't think that's technically false imprisonment.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    I would call it kidnapping and torture.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Let's not forget the Judge in this disgusting everyday occurrence. Most are rubber stamps for the state.

  • SumpTump||

    Dude knows what day of the week it is for sure.

  • iwhitney163||

    come join me in making a lil extra money no its not a get rich quick scheme like u always see where they want u to pay for a startup kit they are 99% of the time scams... this is real no money out of your pocket only a bit of time the more u do the more u make


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