The family of Michael Brown filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri on 23 April, the family's lawyer Benjamin Crump announced in a statement. The suit also names former Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson as defendants.
According to CNN, the lawsuit will seek punitive and compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 (£50,000), as well as lawyers' fees. Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Mike Brown Sr, chose not to speak during a news conference in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse after the lawsuit was filed.
The St Louis American reported that attorneys for Brown's parents said they would provide evidence that has been unseen and that they will argue deadly force was unnecessary. Attorney Anthony Gray said, "There is forensic and physical evidence in this case that totally contradicts what we have characterized as a concocted version of events from the very beginning."
Crump also spoke about a US Department of Justice report highlighting racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. "We believed that culture existed that forecast something like this would happen in Ferguson, Missouri," he said.
Violation of victim's 'constitutionally guaranteed right to life'
Wilson, who fatally shot Brown during a confrontation, was cleared in an earlier criminal investigation.
However, the lawsuit claims that he "unjustifiably shot and killed [Brown], using an unnecessary and unreasonable amount [of] force in violation of [Brown's] constitutionally guaranteed right to life". The former police officer is also accused in the suit of "destroying evidence and interfering with the investigation".
According to CNN, Ferguson city spokesman Jeff Small refused to comment but confirmed the city had received the lawsuit.