Ferguson Police Sued for $41.5 Million Over Civil Rights Abuses

Police advance during a protest in Ferguson on Aug. 18. Police advance during a protest in Ferguson on Aug. 18. Charlie Riedel/AP

Six plaintiffs are suing the Ferguson and St. Louis County police forces, alleging that the officers' arrests and use of tear gas and rubber bullets violated their civil rights.

During protests following the August 9 shooting of unarmed Missouri teen Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, hundreds of people were arrested by officers, who used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up crowds. The plaintiffs are seeking $41.5 million from the two police forces, both of their police chiefs and a series of unnamed Officer John Does, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri by Black Lawyers for Justice, a group based in Washington D.C. The claims against the officers range from unlawful arrests and use of militaristic force between August 10 and 13, according to the suit. One plaintiff, Tracey White, said she and her son were arrested in a McDonald's after attending a peaceful protest. According to the suit, White said police officers told her to leave the restaurant, and when she tried to tell the officers that her son was in the restroom, they arrested her for not shutting up:

Another plaintiff, Dewayne A. Matthews, said he was visiting his mother, who lives near where the protests take place. Matthews claims he was surrounded by eight officers while trying get around a road block and shot with rubber bullets. 

Other plaintiffs claimed that officers kicked them and "hurled racial epithets" while arresting them.

On August 14, the day after the events in the suit occurred, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixonordered the Missouri State Highway Patrol to take over control of the Ferguson protests. Meanwhile St. Louis County and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating Michael Brown's shooting, and a Grand Jury is considering whether to bring charges against the officer who killed Brown. 

NEWSLETTER

Get daily news from Route Fifty

Top stories on how innovation is driving smarter government across the country.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.