On August 28, 2014, six Missouri residents filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution against the City of Ferguson, Missouri. The plaintiffs, represented by private ...
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On August 28, 2014, six Missouri residents filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution against the City of Ferguson, Missouri. The plaintiffs, represented by private and public interest counsel, sought compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the City of Ferguson, through its police force, violated the plaintiffs' rights by subjecting them to unnecessary and unwarranted force and arresting them without probable cause. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged claims of false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, failure to train, supervise, and discipline, as well as assault and battery.
This suit was filed in the wake of the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown. Brown, a black male, was fatally shot on August 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a Caucasian police officer with the Ferguson Police Department. The circumstances surrounding the shooting are disputed, but it is undisputed that Brown was unarmed at the time. The shooting sparked protests and general civil unrest in the City of Ferguson, caused in part by racial tension between the majority-black community and the majority-white city government and police. The plaintiffs allege that during this time of civil unrest, Ferguson police officers used wanton and excessive force under color of law.
Specifically, one plaintiff alleges that she and her son were arrested on August 13 at a fast-food restaurant in Ferguson. The complaint states that they had attended a peace rally and were arrested for supposedly failing to follow police instructions to leave the establishment. Another plaintiff claimed he was shot with rubber bullets, assaulted, and sprayed with pepper-spray by police while heading to his mother's house on August 13. According to the complaint, this plaintiff was never charged with a crime. Another plaintiff claimed he was photographing protests from his vehicle when police began moving down the street where he was parked, firing tear gas and ordering people to disperse. The plaintiff was allegedly blocked in by a police vehicle and therefore unable to comply. According to the complaint, police seized his camera and pulled the memory chip from it before arresting him. The final two plaintiffs claimed they were also arrested for failing to disperse while filming the protests on August 11.
On October 2, 2014, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding four plaintiffs to the suit. Greg in den Berken - 10/09/2014