Ferguson Chief of Police, Among Others, Sued for $40 million
The $40 million lawsuit isn’t all. Forgive me for not being present on the blog. After hearing about the lawsuit, I began to research to see if I could obtain a copy. What I did find opens the eyes more into the experience of the citizens of Ferguson. When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri, I read that his interest was not only because of the killing of Michael Brown, but also because of other complaints against the Ferguson police department. One complaint involved the arrest of the wrong party who, when Ferguson police discovered the mistaken identity, beat the man then charged him with destruction of property because he bled on their uniforms.
The U.S. Department of Justice has a division to receive and investigate complaints against law enforcement who violate civil rights under color and claim of official right. I do not know, but highly suspect, that some citizens of Ferguson used that option. What gives me further reason to believe that they did is because the family of a man killed by Ferguson police in 2011, stated that every lawyer she contacted was afraid to take cases against the Ferguson police department, and news stations were afraid to report on the incident.
I can believe that because I live in such a small town where upsetting the apple cart can result in harmful retaliation. People have no option that to depend on government agencies to investigate because local government, lawyers, and news reporters, ignore them.
When law enforcement arrested members of the media during the recent protests, I predicted that their employers would sue the law enforcement agencies. We have yet to see if that happens, but another lawsuit has been filed.
Five people who were arrested in Ferguson, Missouri have accused the police of using “wanton and excessive force,” intentional infliction of emotions distress, negligent supervision, and assault and battery. In their complaint, they allege that the Ferguson and St. Louis County police treated U.S. citizens “as if they were war combatants.” The arrests happened between August 11th and August 13th.
CNN has not yet confirmed the arrests, but lists them as follows from the complaint;
- Tracey White was about to buy an ice cream sundae at McDonald’s when officers “in what appeared to be army uniforms, carrying rifles and sticks and wearing helmets” entered and ordered her to leave, according to the lawsuit. She was told to shut up, thrown to the ground and handcuffed after criticizing officers for the way they were treating her son, the lawsuit claims.
- Dewayne Matthews was walking to his mother’s house when a group of officers in military uniforms shot rubber bullets at him, the lawsuit alleges. He fell into a creek or sewer, the suit says, where officers “pounced on him, slammed his face into the concrete, and pushed his head into the water to the point that he felt he was going to be drowned.”
- Kerry White was shooting footage and holding his camera out his car window when an officer snatched his camera, “took out his memory card and threw it to the ground,” the lawsuit says.
- and 5. Damon Coleman and Theophilus Green were peacefully protesting, the lawsuit says, when police in riot gear fired tear gas and what appeared to be stun grenades in their direction, then “hurled racial epithets at them, while punching and kicking them the entire time.”
What I found while researching for the aforementioned lawsuit, was another lawsuit filed on August 19, 2014 by the family of Jason Moore. Named as defendants are Ferguson police officers BRIAN KAMINSKI, MICHAEL WHITE,WILLIAM BALLARD, MATTHEW BEBE, THOMAS JACKSON, the City of Ferguson, Missouri, and the Ferguson Police Department.
The officers are accused of violating Jason Moore’s civil rights by tasing him to death. Since a lawyer for the family declined to comment to the media, I am not going to make the lawsuit available to the public here on the blog. The lawsuit requests a jury trial and does not request any specific amount of money.
The cover-ups, and the ignoring, that has placed the citizens in a position where they have to “suck it up” and continue on without answers, without redress, is the type of oppression that this country should never allow.
Mr. Moore’s sisters and brother are in the following video.