Michael Brown’s friend sue Ferguson police
A friend of an African-American teenager, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer is suing the Ferguson Police Department.
Dorian Johnson, who was with 18-year-old Michael Brown when he was shot in August by officer Darren Wilson, filed a lawsuit last week against the city of Ferguson, Wilson and former Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson.
Johnson contends in his lawsuit that Wilson initiated the confrontation that ended Brown’s life on August 9. He says the two friends ran away from Wilson after he shot Brown in the arm.
“Officer Wilson acted with either deliberate indifference and/or reckless disregard toward Plaintiff’s rights, targeting him without probable cause or any reasonable factual basis to support that Plaintiff had committed any crime or wrong, and using lethal force in an unjustified and unconstitutional manner,” the lawsuit states.
A St. Louis county grand jury and the US Justice Department decided not to charge Wilson, who later resigned.
The suit also argued that the former Police chief “facilitated, encouraged and/or instigated” biased police behavior, including the “excessive force” used against Brown and Johnson.
Brown’s parents also filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson on April 23.
The fatal shooting of Brown by Wilson led to weeks of protests across the United States. A new wave of demonstrations began after Wilson was acquitted in November.
The recent unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody, was the most violent in the country since the Ferguson protests.
African-Americans are far more likely to be shot, arrested and imprisoned by police than any other racial group, according to a recent analysis by USA TODAY.
Experts say the dramatic gap in police shootings and prison rates reflects biased policing as well as the vast economic and educational inequalities that plague much of the country.