Officer Goodson, van driver acquitted Freddie Gray's death, to receive $87K in back pay

The city is set to authorize a payment of $87,705 to Officer Goodson.

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was acquitted of second-degree murder and other charges in the death of Freddie Gray, is set to receive $87,000 in back pay.

The city's Board of Estimates on Wednesday authorized a payment of $87,705 to Goodson. Goodson and three other officers charged with felonies in connection with Gray's death were suspended without pay, under department policy. Having been acquitted, Goodson is now entitled to back pay under that policy.

"That's an existing agreement; it's not something that we have the discretion to alter," said City Solicitor George Nilson, a member of the panel. "If people are unhappy at the restoration of backpay to a person who has been acquitted of a crime that cost him his salary, then there's a different place to raise that."

Goodson, 46, drove the transport van in which Gray sustained fatal injuries. He was suspended without pay from May 1, 2015, when he was charged by the state's attorney's office, until June 22 of this year, when Circuit Judge Barry Williams found Goodson not guilty on charges that included second-degree depraved-heart murder and three counts of manslaughter.

Williams delivered a broad rebuke of the case against Goodson, saying prosecutors lacked evidence to support the charges.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said Goodson will remain suspended by the Police Department and now faces an administrative review.

Gray, 25, died April 19, 2015, one week after his arrest. His death sparked weeks of citywide protests and activism against police brutality, and two nights of scattered looting and rioting.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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