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Michael Brown's Parents, City of Ferguson Reach Settlement Deal in Lawsuit

by Phil Helsel /
Lesley McSpadden, right, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, watches as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself, his son, top left in photo, and a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.Jeff Roberson / AP file

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The parents of Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot and killed in 2014 by a white police officer, have reached an undisclosed settlement with the city of Ferguson, Missouri, in a wrongful death civil suit, according to court documents.

The amount of the settlement agreement was sealed. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber said in an order that, "Disclosure of the terms of the settlement agreement could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties, or investigators."

Brown's parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lesley McSpadden, filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Ferguson, Wilson, and the town's former police chief in 2015.

Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A grand jury later declined to indict Wilson. Wilson in November of 2014 resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.

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The shooting sparked protests around the country over the use of deadly force by police against black men. The Justice Department in 2015 cleared Wilson of civil rights violations, but in a report found a pattern of biased policing in Ferguson, a city of around 21,000 west of St. Louis.

The wrongful death suit argued that Wilson used profane language in his initial confrontation with Brown and another person as they walked in a road, which unnecessarily escalated the situation, and that excessive force was used. It also alleged a racially-biased mentality and culture in the Ferguson police department.

Former Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson, who was criticized for his response after the shooting and his handling of protests, resigned in March of 2015. The Justice Department found that tactics used by several law enforcement agencies into the sometimes-violent protests made the unrest worse.

The amount of the settlement will be distributed among the two plaintiffs and their attorneys as stipulated in an agreement, the judge’s order says, and all claims against the city and those named in the suit were dismissed.

 Lesley McSpadden, right, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, watches as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself, his son, top left in photo, and a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Jeff Roberson / AP file

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