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George Nilson
Baltimore settlements on police brutality more restrictive than in other cities

When Baltimore residents settle lawsuits alleging police brutality or other misconduct, they must promise to keep silent about the incidents that sparked the suits — an arrangement that shields key details from the public. The penalty for disobeying: Lawyers for the city may try to recoup tens of thousands of dollars from the settlement. But many other cities — including Washington, Philadelphia and Las Vegas — have rejected the use of such confidentiality clauses in an effort to increase the transparency of government operations. "The plaintiff can publicly discuss the case — no restrictions," Ted Gest, spokesman for the attorney general's office...