Michael Brown’s family to file civil lawsuit against the City of Ferguson

The parents of murdered black teenager Michael Brown have announced their plan to file a civil suit against the city of Ferguson.

It comes a day after the U.S. Justice Department refused to prosecute Wilson despite compiling a 350,000-page report on racial profiling in the Missouri city that ‘led to’ Brown’s fatal shooting at the hands of a white police officer on August 9, 2014.

‘He did not have to kill Michael Brown,’ attorney Daryl Parks said of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and his father, Michael Brown Sr., attended the news conference at Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, but they did not speak nor take questions.

Parks said the DOJ report makes it clear there are ‘rampant, wholesale, systemic’ problems in the Ferguson police department that need to ‘change soon for the safety of the citizens.’

He did not say specifically when the suit would be filed. He said only that, ‘soon means soon.’

The announcement is a reaction to the news on Wednesday that federal investigators found a pattern of discriminatory and illegal actions against African-Americans by the Ferguson Police Department.

The report said police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson overwhelmingly arrested and issued citations to blacks to boost city revenues through fines and court fees, creating a culture of distrust that exploded on August 9 when Wilson killed Brown.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the report showed police created a ‘highly toxic environment’ in Ferguson.

‘Let me be clear, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or in any department in the city of Ferguson,’ the city’s mayor James Knowles said at the conference.

Seven emails included in the report showed police and court officials making racist jokes, including one that said Obama wouldn’t remain president long, remarking ‘what black man holds a steady job for four years.’

The mayor did not take any questions at the presser, and though Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson had been expected to attend, no explanation was given for his absence.

The Justice Department investigation into Ferguson police began immediately after Brown’s killing in August.

Analysis of more than 35,000 pages of police records found racist comments from officers as well as statistics that showed African-Americans make up 93 percent of arrests while accounting for only 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, an unnamed department official said.

The Department of Justice report also found that 88 per cent of people against whom police used excessive force were black.

According to figures recorded between 2012 and 2014, blacks were also twice as likely to be searched than whites during traffic stops, though contraband showed up more during searches of white drivers.

Holder also said that charges for minor violations such as ‘manner of walking in roadway’ disproportionately affected black residents and were used ‘not as a public service, but as a tool for raising revenue.’

Nationwide protests of police actions that resulted in deaths of African Americans in Ferguson, New York and Cleveland laid bare racial tensions and what President Barack Obama called ‘simmering distrust’ between police and communities.

Black offenders are also less likely to have their cases dismissed by a municipal judge and they are more likely to be taken into custody on outstanding warrants during traffic stops, compared to their white counterparts.

The Justice Department plans to use the findings to negotiate policy changes with Ferguson officials and enter a consent decree, or to sue the city to force change.

Brown was unarmed when he was shot multiple times by Wilson, who told investigators he and Brown had an angry and violent encounter, causing him to fear for his life when he shot Brown.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson, who has since left the police department.

Source: The DailyMail

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