Michael Brown's Parents File Suit Against City Of Ferguson

Michael Brown's Parents File New Lawsuit Against Darren Wilson, City Of Ferguson

by Scott Heins
April 24, 2015 3:24 PM

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The parents of Michael Brown have filed a civil lawsuit against the city Ferguson, Missouri, demanding punitive damage payments and broad structural change in the wake of their son’s killing last August at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson.

At a press conference yesterday Brown’s mother and father stood behind their attorneys on the St. Louis County Courthouse steps, calling for a new investigation of Wilson, who “unjustifiably shot and killed (Brown), using an unnecessary and unreasonable amount (of) force in violation of (Brown’s) constitutionally guaranteed right to life,” according to the suit.

The family’s wrongful death suit seeks $75,000 in damages, in addition to legal fees, and charges both Wilson and former Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson responsible in addition to the city. CNN reports that the suit denies multiple findings from the grand jury investigation that exonerated Wilson last November. “Namely,” CNN notes, “the suit omits the claim that Brown and Wilson struggled over Wilson’s gun, and it states as fact the now disputed claim that Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was killed.”

“The standard police narrative is contradicted by the evidence,” Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump said at the conference.

The lawsuit (which can be read in full here) also makes note of the Federal Justice Department’s condemnation of the Ferguson Police Department, and calls for “pervasive unconstitutional policing” to be answered for, both from Brown’s killer and the city that recruited, trained and employed him. The Washington Post reports that at yesterday’s press conference Crump also demanded “an order barring Ferguson from using policing techniques ‘that demeans, disregard, or underserve its African-American population.”

Thursday’s press conference alluded to a national epidemic of civil rights offenses, with Crump referencing the killings of both Tamir Rice and Eric Garner as he announced the family’s civil suit.

“We are encouraged that the DOJ will hold the Ferguson Police Department accountable for the pattern of racial bias and profiling they found in their handling of interactions with people of color,” the Brown’s parents said in a statement to the press. “It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson, but around the country. If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain.” Watch video footage of the press conference, courtesy of the Post, below.

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