$40,000,000 Civil Rights Suit Filed Against Ferguson

The complaint, filed by six protesters, says they were unjustly arrested during the recent unrest.

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Chief Thomas Jackson of the Ferguson Police Department at a news conference Aug. 15, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

It was bound to happen. A group of demonstrators have filed a $40 million lawsuit against Ferguson, Mo., and its police department in the aftermath of days of angry protests that swept through the city this month.

The lawsuit, filed by six plaintiffs, accuses police of using “wanton and excessive force” when demonstrators took to the streets after Darren Wilson, a white officer with the Ferguson Police Department, shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, Newsweek reports.

The plaintiffs, Tracey White and her minor son, identified only as W.D.; Dewayne Matthews; Damon Coleman; Theophilus Green; and Kerry White allege they were unjustly arrested between Aug. 11 and 13, according to court documents, the report says.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Malik Shabazz, said the suit could be broadened to include additional complainants. Tracey White, a social worker, was told she was being arrested “because she would not ‘shut up,’ ” Newsweek writes, citing court documents. Her son also was arrested, “for no reason at all.”

Newsweek notes that Coleman and Green say they “were engaged in peaceful protests” when police in riot gear arrived and began firing tear gas at them. The suit says they were gassed and shot with rubber bullets, despite the fact that “Coleman and Green got on their knees and presented no threat,” the report says. They were also arrested and charged with failure to disperse.

Kerry White was videotaping the protests when police officers took his camera, removed his memory card and threw it on the ground, the complaint says, according to Newsweek. He was arrested and charged with failure to disperse, the report says.

The suit lists as defendants the chiefs of police of the city of Ferguson and St. Louis County, various Ferguson and St. Louis County police officers, and the city of Ferguson and the county of St. Louis, court documents state. The city of Ferguson is in St. Louis County.

Read more at Newsweek.

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