More in the article...Baltimore police union balks at policy requiring officers to pay some legal damages themselvesAs many as nine Baltimore police officers could have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages after juries found they acted with “actual malice” in the course of making arrests — a development that prompted a warning from the police union and, in turn, a fiery response from the city’s top lawyer.
The union asserted in a memo Tuesday that forcing officers to pay such damages themselves was a change in the city’s policy. But both City Solicitor Andre Davis and his predecessor said Wednesday the policy has not changed and officers have potentially been on the hook for decades in such cases.
Davis said what has changed is that he has been more transparent about the policy, noting it in materials submitted to the city’s spending board in December. Davis called the memo by a local Fraternal Order of Police leader an attempt to “stir something up.”
“Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, right now the city and the police department have an adversarial relationship with the FOP,” Davis said. The city is involved in litigation with the union over pensions and overtime and is in the midst of contentious contract negotiations.