Lawyers acting on behalf of the family of Michael Brown, the black teenager whose killing by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer last year sparked nationwide protests, declared their intention to file a civil lawsuit against the city over his death, according to media reports.
Attorneys for the family said the wrongful death suit would be filed Thursday. The move was expected, after lawyers acting for the Brown family announced in March that a lawsuit would be filed "soon," according to the Associated Press.
Brown, 18, was shot dead by officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. He was unarmed at the time of his death. His killing sparked protests in Missouri and across the U.S., and has, in conjunction with a string of similar incidents, sparked a debate about the way police treat ethnic minority citizens. The heavily militarized policing of protests that erupted in Ferguson after Brown's death drew international attention and widespread condemnation.
Meanwhile, internal National Guard mission briefings obtained by media outlets found that troops referred to Ferguson protesters as “enemy forces” and "adversaries."
A Ferguson grand jury declined to indict Wilson over Brown's killing, and last month, a Justice Department review found evidence to corroborate Wilson's version of events, according to the Washington Post. A review by federal authorities, however, found that the law enforcement apparatus in Ferguson was intrinsically biased against minorities, and was focused on generating revenues, rather than administering justice. The report also found that claims by some witnesses that Brown had his hands up when he was killed were insubstantial.
As a result of the review, several senior figures in the city's criminal justice system have resigned or have been fired, including the city's leading municipal judge. Ferguson's city manager and police chief also resigned. Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, resigned from the Ferguson police department in November 2014.