$40M Suit Claims Brutality by Cops in Ferguson

Lawsuit alleges 'wanton and excessive force' used against plaintiffs

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 29, 2014 8:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Missouri man who says he was just trying to get to his mom's house and a woman who says she was waiting for a ride and a sundae at McDonald's with her teenage son are among the five plaintiffs who have filed a $40 million lawsuit against Ferguson and St. Louis County police alleging "excessive force" in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, reports the AP. The suit filed yesterday charges cops with "intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, and assault and battery" and for treating local citizens "as if they were war combatants," reports CNN.

Tracey White says she was waiting for her husband to pick up her and her son, a high school junior, from McDonald's when police with rifles reportedly burst into the fast-food restaurant and arrested her because she wouldn't "shut up," the suit says, according to the AP. Meanwhile, Dwayne Matthews Jr. says that his bus couldn't drop him off near his mom's house because of the protests and that he was confronted by eight cops as he was walking, shot with rubber bullets, face-slammed into concrete, pushed underwater "to the point that he felt he was going to be drowned," and insulted with racial slurs. "The police were completely out of control. … It was virtually a police riot," says attorney Malik Shabazz, adding that other plaintiffs may join the suit. (In related news: Ray Albers, a local officer who allegedly threatened protesters on camera with a rifle, resigned yesterday, reports the AP.)

Kerry White, one of the plaintiff's in the $40 million suit, talks to reporters during a news conference in front of the federal courthouse in St. Louis, Mo., on Aug. 28, 2014.
Kerry White, one of the plaintiff's in the $40 million suit, talks to reporters during a news conference in front of the federal courthouse in St. Louis, Mo., on Aug. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)
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