Baltimore officials are expected to approve a $30,000 settlement this week to end a lawsuit filed by the mother of a third-grade student alleging her daughter was killed when a police officer chased a teenage boy driving a stolen Jeep.
Nine-year-old Amirah Kinlaw was walking from Steuart Hill Academic Academy in West Baltimore to an after-school program when she was hit. A man was also seriously hurt in the June 2016 collision, and a crossing guard and a young boy were injured.
Amirah’s mother, April Carter, brought her case last year, alleging that the officer violated Baltimore Police Department rules and put children’s lives in danger.
The city’s lawyers have proposed settling the lawsuit, and the city Board of Estimates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the agreement. A summary included in the board’s agenda does not explain why the city is agreeing to settle, but says attorneys reached the decision “based on a review of the facts and legal issues specific to this case.”
The $30,000 payout is the most the city was liable for under state law, according to the agenda.
The officer who Carter said initiated the pursuit, Aisha White-Bey, denied any wrongdoing.
Matthew Bennett, Carter’s attorney, said a judge dismissed a more serious negligence claim he filed and then the city’s lawyers agreed to the settlement.
Bennett said the city treated Carter fairly.
“It’s a very emotional situation for her because she lost her daughter,” Bennett said.
White-Bey spotted the stolen Jeep Liberty while she was on patrol and made a U-turn to follow it, flipping on her lights and sirens.
A police spokesman said at the time that it appeared there had not been a pursuit at all, something that Bennett said remained in dispute.
The driver of the Jeep ran a red light before crashing into another car, killing Amirah.
Police later arrested a 14-year-old boy on charges of vehicular manslaughter and auto theft. He was charged as a juvenile and police did not release his name.
A police spokesman referred questions Monday to the office of the state’s attorney. A spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office said she couldn’t share any details about the case because juvenile prosecutions are confidential.