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An overlooked item from earlier this week: The Baltimore City Council wants to quiz Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III about police misconduct lawsuits, the Baltimore Brew reported.

The Daily Record has been reporting on the apparent rising cost of police lawsuit settlements for some time, including a secretly-approved $200,000 settlement paid out to a violinist wrongly jailed on child sex abuse charges. Clarke co-sponsored this week's resolution, but Councilwoman Belinda Conaway had first spoken out in March. "It's got to stop," Conaway said. Settlements of such cases totaled more than $7.25 million from mid-2007 to mid-2010, the Daily Record reported at the time, and the city had already paid out $800,000 in the first two months of 2011.

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Add at least another $100,000 to that total, with the city approving that amount to a 65-year-old man who said he was arrested, beaten and detained by officers who mistook his cigarette for drugs.

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