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Ferguson, St. Louis County Hit With Civil Rights Suit Over Protests

A lawyer for six Missouri residents threatens to "bankrupt" Ferguson and St. Louis County for the police response to the Michael Brown protests.
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Six Missouri residents filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against city, county and police officials in Ferguson, Missouri, alleging their civil rights were violated by the aggressive police response to protests that followed the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown this month.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, seeks more than $40 million from the city of Ferguson and St. Louis County, as well as their police chiefs and other named and unnamed officers, for alleged violations beginning Aug. 11, two days after Brown, 18, was shot to death. Among the plaintiffs is a woman and her minor son who were arrested Aug. 13 in the same incident at a McDonald's restaurant at which two journalists were arrested, according to the suit.

Malik Zulu Shabazz, president of Black Lawyers for Justice, one of three legal groups representing the plaintiffs, said at a news conference outside the courthouse that other protesters could join the suit later, saying, "If they won't police the people right, then we have to bankrupt them." The American Civil Liberties Union has filed separate litigation over the police response.



— M. Alex Johnson