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Baltimore spending board to vote on $50K settlement with arrestee

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates is set to approve Wednesday a $50,000 settlement with a man who injured his knee when a police officer threw him to the ground during an arrest.

Matthew Fenderson alleged in a 2017 lawsuit that Officer Orlando Guerrero performed a hip throw to take him down after a verbal altercation. Fenderson was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest but the charges were later dropped.

Fenderson was seen in January 2016 entering a convenience store Guerrero knew as a place where narcotics transactions has occurred, according to the memorandum about the settlement prepared for the city spending panel. Guerrero found the Fenderson had not been banned from the store for drug activity and the store clerk did not object to his presence.

The officer later returned to the store and questioned Fenderson, who was playing an electronic game, but Fenderson refused to identify himself and became agitated. Guerrero left the store and Fenderson followed him, yelling and recording him with his phone.

Guerrero began recording Fenderson, who at one point walked into the street, according to the memo. He took Fenderson into custody after taking him down.

Fenderson filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court alleging assault and related charges.

The Baltimore City Law Department recommended settlement in light of “the uncertainty of litigation, existence of video evidence potentially regarded as favorable to Mr. Fenderson, and conflicting versions of the events at issue.”

Fenderson was represented by Myron T. Brown of Mobley & Brown LLP in Baltimore. Brown did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The case is Matthew Fenderson v. Officer Orlando Guerrero, 24C17000035.

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