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Michael Brown’s parents are suing Ferguson authorities over their son’s death.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by Ferguson police in August 2014.

The wrongful-death suit seeks a minimum of $75,000 compensation.

The shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Missouri became a national cause and sparked protests, some violent.

The shooting was reviewed by a grand jury, which decided in November not to charge Darren Wilson.

However, Michael Brown’s parents say they have new forensic evidence that raises questions about the police version of events.Michael Brown parents sue Ferguson

“The narrative of the law enforcement all across the country for shooting unarmed people of color is the same: That they had no other choice,” attorney Benjamin Crump said.

“But time and time again, the objective evidence contradicts the standard police narrative.”

Along with seeking punitive damages from the City of Ferguson, the suit also calls for a court order prohibiting the use of police techniques “that demean, disregard, or under-serve its African-American population”.

A St Louis County grand jury and the Department of Justice had declined to prosecute Darren Wilson, who resigned in November. Civil cases generally require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases.

This is not the only current civil case involving the police killing of an unarmed black man. In New York, the family of Eric Garner is seeking $75 million in damages.


Recent controversial killings by US police:

March 2014: James Boyd, an unarmed homeless man camping in Alberquerque, is shot dead by two officers. Video of the incident leads prosecutors to say the officers acted with “deliberate intention” and they are charged.

July 2014: Eric Garner, an asthma sufferer, is stopped by police in New York and placed in a chokehold after refusing to be handcuffed. He dies despite repeatedly telling officers he cannot breathe. No police are charged.

August 2014: Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, is shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting leads to protests, first in Ferguson and later nationwide. A grand jury decides not to charge Darren Wilson.Black men killed by cops

November 2014: Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, is shot dead in a playground by Cleveland police after a local resident reports he is pointing a gun at passers by. The gun turns out to be a toy. A grand jury will decide whether police will face charges.

December 2014: Jerame Reid, 36, is shot dead during a routine traffic stop in New Jersey. An officer claims Jerame Reid was reaching for a gun, but video footage seems to suggest he was attempting to step out of the car, hands raised.

April 2015: Walter Lamer Scott, 50, is shot eight times in South Carolina as he runs away from Officer Michael Slager. Walter Scott dies at the scene. The shooting is captured on video and Michael Slager is charged with murder.


New York Judge William Garnett has refused to make public the evidence a grand jury heard about Eric Garner’s death in a police “chokehold”.

Judge William Garnett said those suing did not make a “compelling and particularized need” to release the records, which are usually kept secret.

The jury did not charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo for Eric Garner’s death.

Eric Garner’s death, alongside other similar cases, led to nationwide protests over police brutality.

The black man was stopped by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island in August and placed in a chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo.

In a witness video, Eric Garner, who had asthma, is heard saying “I can’t breathe”. A city medical officer later ruled the death a homicide stemming from the effects of the chokehold.Eric Garner Grand Jury testimony

The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups who argued for the records’ release said there was a need to reconcile the widely watched video of the arrest with the decision not to indict.

Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan said those who testified had an expectation of secrecy, and making their testimony public could damage the credibility of prosecutors in the future.

In statement on March 19, Daniel Donovan’s office said: “We respect and will adhere to Judge Garnett’s well-reasoned decision.”

Similar records were released for a Missouri grand jury investigating the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

St Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the records, with witness names redacted, after the jury declined to charge Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, 18.

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A New York judge is hearing arguments over whether to disclose records of the secret grand jury proceedings in the case of black man Eric Garner who was killed by a white police officer.

The panel declined to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo for putting Eric Garner in a chokehold that led to his death.

The prosecutor opposes the move, saying it will hamper witness co-operation.

Similar records were released for a Missouri grand jury investigating the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

St Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the records, with witness names redacted, after the jury declined to charge Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson.Eric Garner chokehold

Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s death sparked protests across the US about police killings and police relations with black and other minority communities.

Eric Garner, 43, was stopped by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island in August and placed in a chokehold by Mr Pantaleo.

In a witness video, Eric Garner, who had asthma, is heard saying “I can’t breathe”. A city medical officer later ruled the death a homicide stemming from the effects of the chokehold.

The US justice department has launched a civil rights investigation in the case.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups who are suing cited the outcry over the Garner grand jury’s decision not to indict despite the video of the incident, as a compelling exception to the normal secrecy of the grand jury.

Disclosure is needed “to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system and to inform the current debate that has begun regarding the role of the grand jury as an instrument of justice or injustice” NYCLU argues in court documents.

The office of Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan said grand jury witnesses in the case came forward to testify “with full assurances of secrecy”.

Making the records public, they argued, would bring an “inevitable result of harassment or retaliation” and a “chilling effect on the very type of witness cooperation that is most desired and the most difficult to obtain”.

Judge William Garnett will hear arguments in the case on Thursday.

The NYCLU cites the decision of Missouri prosecutors to release panel detail in the Wilson case as precedent, but Daniel Donovan says that was also the wrong decision.

News outlets, Daniel Donovan argued, compromised witness anonymity in Missouri by their reporting of the grand jury proceedings and the same could happen in New York.


Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who shot dead two NYPD officers, told members of the public “watch what I’m going to do” shortly before the attack, police say.

Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, 28, had a history of violence and mental instability.

Candlelit vigils have been held in New York in memory of the two officers, Liu Wenjin and Raphael Ramos.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot officers as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn before running into a nearby subway station and reportedly shooting himself.

He had posted messages on social media saying he would kill police officers in retaliation for the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died when white police officers arrested him.

The Rev Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights activist, said Eric Garner’s family had no connection to the gunman and called the killings “reprehensible”.New York shooter Ismaaiyl Brinsley

Community leaders have called for peace and the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has ordered flags across the city to be flown at half-mast.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley had been arrested at least 19 times and had a troubled childhood so violent that his mother was afraid of him, police said.

In online postings, he expressed “self-despair and anger at himself and where his life was”, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.

Before the shootings, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded a former girlfriend.

The killings come at a tense time, with nationwide protests over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers.

The attacks have also put pressure on the New York mayor.

Officers turned their back on him at a news conference, angry at what they saw as his support for protests against the police.

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Thousands of people have protested in Washington DC against the recent killings of unarmed black people by police.

Relatives of Michael Brown, shot dead in the Missouri town of Ferguson, and Eric Garner, who died being restrained in New York, were among them.

Both died after encountering police, but grand juries decided not to bring charges, sparking anger and unrest.

Another demonstration in New York also drew thousands despite chilly weather.

Speakers at the Capitol called for changes to US legislation.

Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, told the crowd: “What a sea of people. If they don’t see this and make a change, then I don’t know what we got to do. Thank you for having my back.”

The mood in Washington DC was described as calm but defiant, with a large number of police on standby.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Earlier in the day, a small group of protesters from Missouri disrupted the schedule by taking to the stage at the starting-point, on Freedom Plaza, and blowing a bullhorn.

They complained that the protest, which was organized by long-established civil rights groups, was staid and ineffective.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on August 9 during an altercation with a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Eric Garner, 43, died while being held down by a white police officer on July 17.

He had been challenged over the alleged sale of loose cigarettes on a street in Staten Island, New York.

The event was caught on camera and his dying plea of “I can’t breathe” has become a slogan of the protesters. It echoes the adoption of “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” – a Ferguson refrain alleging that Michael Brown was surrendering to police when the fatal shots were fired.

Relatives of three other black people killed in controversial shootings were also expected to attend the march, according to the National Action Network:

  • Akai Gurley, 28, was shot dead by New York police on November 20
  • Tamir Rice, 12, was shot dead in a Cleveland, Ohio, park on November 22 while carrying a pellet gun
  • Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead on February 26, 2012, by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida

Marchers crowded Pennsylvania Avenue for the walk from Freedom Plaza to the Capitol, but the actual numbers were not immediately clear.

Some in the crowd, which was made up of both black and white people, held banners saying: “Stop racist police”, “I can’t breathe”, and “President Obama seize this moment. The ancestors are watching.”

The Rev Al Sharpton, a leading civil rights advocate, called for “legislative action that will shift things both on the books and in the streets”.

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The funeral of Akai Gurley who was fatally shot by police in November has taken place in Brooklyn.

Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old black man, was shot in the chest after he entered the stairwell of his apartment building.

A grand jury will be asked whether to prosecute the officer responsible.

The move comes days after a grand jury decided not to charge another New York policeman over the chokehold death of another unarmed black man, Eric Garner, sparking protests across the country.

The US was already facing race-related unrest over the decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead a young black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.

The funeral took place at Brown Baptist Church in Brooklyn on December 6.

Akai Gurley’s mother, stepfather and two-year-old daughter were among those who attended the service.Akai Gurley funeral Brooklyn

Activist Kevin Powell delivered the eulogy for Akai Gurley.

“Akai was innocent, innocent, innocent,” he said.

“This is modern-day lynchings, over and over again. Akai Gurley was simply the latest victim of this,” he added.

The funeral featured music from gospel singers and a poem read by Akai Gurley’s younger brother.

Protests against police violence towards minorities continued on December 6 for a fourth day.

The latest spate of protests was sparked by the decision by a grand jury not to charge a New York policeman over the death of Eric Garner, who died after police put him in a chokehold.

Hundreds streamed along Fifth Avenue and other parts of Manhattan on Friday evening , with banners and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – a reference to Eric Garner’s last words.

In announcing the grand jury – a body that determines whether to bring criminal charges – Brooklyn’s District Attorney Ken Thompson said it was important to conduct a full and fair investigation.

Police say Akai Gurley and his girlfriend had opened a door into the unlit stairway and an inexperienced officer on a routine patrol fired his gun.

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton called the shooting an accident. However, the medical examiner has ruled that the death is a homicide.

Civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton had initially planned to speak at Akai Gurley’s memorial service but later said he would pay his respects without making an address.

Activists have called for another march in Washington on December 13, followed by a summit on civil rights.

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Thousands of people gathered in the New York borough of Staten Island near the site of Eric Garner’s death to march in protest against police killings.

Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, died in July after being placed in a chokehold as police arrested him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

The march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner.

Eric Garner died weeks before black teenager Michael Brown was killed in Missouri.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on August 9 after being stopped by a police officer for walking in the street in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson.

The killing sparked days of protest culminating in the deployment of the National Guard, which was withdrawn on August 22.

Some of the protesters in New York displayed banners saying “Black lives matter” while others demanded justice in the cases of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown, as a large police contingent looked on.

The Staten Island march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner

The Staten Island march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner

Some shops were closed for the day on August 23, amid fears the protest could turn violent as happened in Ferguson earlier this week.

However, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton repeatedly warned demonstrators that such action would not be tolerated. He said that Eric Garner’s death was a defining moment for police nationwide.

In the event protesters filed peacefully past the spot where Mr Garner was held to the ground by police as the marchers processed towards the Staten Island prosecutor’s office.

“We will prevail,” the black reverend – who was accompanied by Eric Garner’s widow and several of his children – told the crowd.

“They will not cry alone.”

The demonstrators demanded the prosecution of Daniel Pantaleo, the suspended police officer who arrested Eric Garner. Some chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” – the slogan often used by the Ferguson demonstrators.

A New York grand jury is considering criminal charges against Daniel Pantaleo.

Eric Garner, who had asthma, was heard on a witness video shouting “I can’t breathe!” as police arrested him.

A medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

However, the New York City medical examiner’s office said other factors contributed to his death included asthma and heart disease.

Eric Garner’s death provoked an outcry, especially after a video of Officer Daniel Pantaleo placing him in a chokehold became public.

Chokeholds are banned by the New York Police Department and Commissioner William Bratton has ordered an internal review of training.