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Freddie Gray officers' trials cost the city $7.4 million

Expenses to Baltimore reach $7.4 million for trials of officers charged, acquitted in Gray's death.

Baltimore has paid an estimated $7.47 million for the trials of police officers charged and acquitted in the death of Freddie Gray, city officials said.

The Police Department accrued a little more than $7 million in costs, including $4.5 million for overtime and $2.5 million for supplies such as riot gear, while the state's attorneys office accounted for the remaining $450,000, according to Anthony McCarthy, spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

On Wednesday, prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against the officers, ending the high-profile trials that began in December.

Officer William Porter's trial ended with a hung jury and mistrial. Officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson Jr. and Lt. Brian Rice were acquitted. Officers Porter, Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White were scheduled for trials when the charges were dropped Wednesday.

Baltimore City alone will foot the bill, McCarthy said.

Gov. Larry Hogan has called the prosecutions a waste of time and money, especially after Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby failed to win convictions in four trials.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the city's NAACP chapter, said she was "very disappointed" in the outcome of the trials.

"I've been advocating that the cases should move forward," she said.

Still, Hill-Aston said she understands the decision to drop the charges "based on [Mosby's] rationale about money and feeling that she was not going to get any convictions, that it would be a waste of the court's time."

But the trials were not the only costs. In September, the city approved a $6.4 million payout to the Gray family, accepting all civil liability. The West Baltimore man suffered spinal injuries that proved fatal while being transported in a police van.

Prosecution costs and overtime pay for police has reached at least six figures in other high-profile cases.

•The five-week trial in Florida for George Zimmerman — the Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — cost the public at least $902,000, The Orlando Sentinel reported in 2013. Most of that money, $425,000, was spent by the local sheriff's office on providing security, planning and logistics, according to the newspaper. About $183,000 was spent on police overtime.

•In Boston, police spent about $750,000 on overtime during the trial for marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Globe reported last year. Officers worked 13,236 hours from January to May 2015, as the trial spanned from jury selection to sentencing.

•Costs had risen to more than $2.2 million in the case involving the 2012 Colorado theater shooter James Holmes before the trial even started, the Associated Press reported last year. That figure includes $517,000 in overtime for police and city workers. Another $435,000 had been spent on courtroom security and other costs ahead of the trial's opening day. Holmes was found guilty of murder in July 2015.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jesse Coburn contributed to this article.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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