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The Dripby Louis Krauss5:30 pmJul 12, 20170

City settles two police lawsuits for $150,000

One man’s GPS ankle bracelet showed he was not in the location at the time cited in his arrest report

The Board of Estimates today agreed to pay $50,000 to a man who showed the time and location of his arrest report on drug charges conflicted with his GPS ankle tracking device and $100,000 to a man who cited flaws in the evidence leading to his arrest on carjacking charges.

Antoine Casey’s 2014 arrest on multiple charges of drug possession and distribution stemmed from an incident in which Baltimore police identified two known drug traffickers in the area of Tivoly Avenue near East 28th Street.

According to the city Law Department, Casey was seen speaking with the men and then entering a vacant house where police later found what appeared to be bags of heroin pills.

Casey sued the city for battery, false arrest, false imprisonment and other claims, contending he had not been at that location at the time. The Law Department said in its report that Casey’s account was “supported by a GPS tracking ankle bracelet he was wearing because of a prior conviction.”

The GPS data showed Casey “was not at or near the location during the hours in the arrest report, though he was in the area at other hours on that date,” the report to the spending board says.

“The GPS also did not place Mr. Casey at or in the vacant dwelling,” the report noted.

After his arrest, Casey spent 11 months in jail before the State’s Attorney’s Office noticed the error and ended his sentence. In total, Casey received nine counts of drug possession and distribution that were eventually dropped.

Due to “conflicting factual issues including the issues presented by the GPS monitor evidence and the 11 months spent in jail, and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts” both parties agreed to a settlement of $50,000.

Constitutional Issues

In the other case, David Cofield sued the city for malicious prosecution, false arrest, false imprisonment and other claims.

Cofield, 58, was arrested in connection with a March 30, 2015 attempted carjacking “of an employee of a medical center in Baltimore.” He was charged with attempted carjacking, robbery, assault and other offenses.

Cofield was held pending trial for over three months “with the only evidence being a witness identification done without Baltimore Police Department involvement,” according to the spending board report.

“Detectives requested an arrest warrant which only included the third party identification for [Cofield] but not the negative photo arrays that were conducted shortly after the offense,” the Law Department said.

“The negative photo arrays were not timely disclosed to the State’s Attorney’s Office.”

The State’s Attorney’s Office ultimately dismissed the charges.

Because of “the constitutional and other legal issues involved and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts,” the parties agreed to settle the matter for $100,000.

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