Family Of Michael Brown Files Civil Lawsuit
By aaroncynic in News on Apr 23, 2015 9:35PM
The family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen shot by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson, filed a civil suit Thursday afternoon seeking at least $75,000 in addition to other compensation for punitive damages and attorney fees, CNN reports. The suit, which names the City of Ferguson, along with Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson, charges that Wilson “unjustifiably shot and killed Brown, using an unnecessary and unreasonable amount of force in violation of Brown’s constitutionally guaranteed right to life.” The suit also accuses Wilson of interfering with the investigation and destroying evidence.
Brown’s death at the hands of Wilson sparked weeks of protest and a Department of Justice investigation that revealed systemic racism and targeting of blacks by the Ferguson Police Department, which helped kickstart a movement to call out and change the way police deal with communities of color.
According to the International Business Times, an attorney for Michael Brown's family plans to introduce new evidence and that the suit is the first time Wilson will be cross-examined over his version of the events that took place. “We’re hopeful that our presentation of the evidence through this case will highlight the facts that nobody has seen, the physical evidence that nobody has talked about,” said Antonio Gray at a press conference outside St. Louis County Court. “Not only should [Wilson] have been indicted from the very beginning, but he should be held responsible for the killing of Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9, 2014.”
Benjamin Crump, another attorney for the family, told reporters that the alleged interfering with evidence in the Brown case was part of trend around the country, citing the cases of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others. “The standard police narrative is contradicted by the evidence,” said Crump, according to CNN.
Civil lawsuits against municipalities, departments and officers are oftentimes the last recourse for relatives of those shot and killed by police looking for any kind of closure. The burden of proof in criminal trials is much higher and nearly every high profile case to go to court with criminal charges against an officer for alleged brutality or that involves a death generally rule in favor of the defendant. "They have accepted (Wilson's) self-defense,” said attorney Daryl Parks when a court did not indict Wilson for Brown’s death. "We do not accept his self-defense."