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Judge dismisses 4 counts of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by parents of Michael Brown against police

14 Jul

ST. LOUIS • A federal judge here on Tuesday dismissed four counts of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of Michael Brown Jr.

Two of the counts were not in dispute, as they dealt with claims related to state civil rights matters, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber said.

Two others, dealing with claims against former Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and former Officer Darren Wilson were also dismissed, as they were “redundant,” Weber said. He did allow that the Brown family could re-file those claims later if the redundant parts of the lawsuit were dismissed for other reasons.

Webber declined to dismiss two other counts challenged by the city, although he said they may fall later because Brown’s parents may not be able to make those claims for their adult child. Brown was 18 when he was fatally shot by Wilson on Aug. 9.

Lawyers for the city said that the family cannot make certain Constitutional claims on behalf of Brown. Brown family lawyer Jasmine Rand said that Brown was not independent of his parents. He was living with family and was still being supported by his parents, she told Webber.

Webber said that he would allow the Brown family lawyers time to explore whether a city insurance policy meant that Ferguson could not claim “sovereign immunity” against another part of the lawsuit.

The suit had been filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court but was moved on the request of the defense, which said it brings up constitutional issues better dealt with in federal court.

The suit claims the city fostered a culture of hostility that helped lead to Brown’s death in a confrontation with Wilson. Separate investigations by a St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice found that Wilson acted within the law.

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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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