Family of Michael Brown Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit With the City of Ferguson, Mo.

Michael Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Image)
Michael Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Image)

A federal judge approved a secret settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Michael Brown over his 2014 shooting death at the hands of now former Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson.

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the settlement amount was not disclosed Tuesday in U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber’s order approving it, with Webber only noting that the gross amount is “fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death clear and is in the best interests of each plaintiff.”

Webber also noted that the split of the amount between Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden, “is fair and reasonable,” and that the agreement “provides for a reasonable amount” for attorney fees and expenses.

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Brown’s parents filed the lawsuit back in May 2015, claiming that a police culture of pervasive hostility toward black Americans led to the death of their 18-year-old son. It accused Wilson of using excessive and unreasonable force, and claimed that Wilson and other officers were poorly trained.

The Post-Dispatch notes that settlements involving public entities are usually open records under Missouri law, but that Webber ordered it sealed, saying that it should be considered a closed record under Missouri’s Sunshine Law “due to the adverse impact to plaintiffs should it be disclosed.”

“Disclosure of the terms of the settlement agreement could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties or investigators. The public policy to consider records open is outweighed by the adverse impact to plaintiffs,” Webber wrote in his order.

However, state law does require that the figure on the settlement be disclosed, the report notes. The Post-Dispatch reported earlier that the settlement would likely be for less than $3 million.

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Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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DISCUSSION

kaiserkhan
Kaiser Khan

Honest, serious question: what exactly is it going to take for things to change?

Prior to Rodney King= black people beaten and killed, and only black people knew that it was happening. The rest of world didn’t care.

Rodney King= first video and media coverage of police brutality against a black person. For a few weeks, the world is fire. Then, it isn’t. Black people are still beaten and killed by police, but since there is no video, everything is ignored by white people and the American media.

Trayvon Martin= the President of United States personally makes comments on a case where a lack of evidence justifies a racially motivated decision to let a child murderer walk away free.

Mike Brown= It is Trayvon Martin all over again, except this time, a police officer is the shooter. The fire starts again, and the Black Lives Matter movement is born. Almost immediately, a Blue Lives Matter counter-movement is established, and people are more divided than ever.

Since then, more than a dozen black men and women are killed by police, and each time, there is a small media flash, but largely, nobody seems to care. Many of these crimes are caught on video, and more often than not, the victims become the offenders, and the real criminals get off.