Lawyers for the family of Michael Brown said on Thursday that they will file a wrongful death civil suit against the Ferguson Police Department.
Former officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, last August, setting off a wave of local and nationwide protests against police treatment of minorities.
Wilson claimed self-defense, and a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice said there is not enough evidence to file civil rights charges against him. But attorneys for Brown’s family brushed all that aside.
“We’ve always felt from the very beginning that officer Darren Wilson did not have to shoot and kill Mike Brown in broad daylight in the manner that he did,” family attorney Anthony Gray said at a press conference on Thursday.
Another DOJ report, also released on Wednesday, detailed rampant racism and racist policies practiced by Ferguson police.
Brown’s family lawyer says “the only encouraging part of” DOJ report was the finding of racism in Ferguson PD pic.twitter.com/Ebi1h2Nr5r
— Megan Specia (@meganspecia) March 5, 2015
Brown’s family issued a statement on Wednesday after the release of both DOJ reports:
“While we are saddened by this decision, 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,” they said. “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.”
Gray said Brown’s family would file the lawsuit “shortly,” although he did not specify an exact date.
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