Ferguson Police Sued For $40 Million

On Thursday, a group of Missouri residents sued the Ferguson Police Department and other officials tasked with overseeing the Michael Brown protests, seeking $40 million in damages for aggressive police tactics and civil rights violations.

The suit claims the police used "wanton and excessive force," and seeks damages for false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, and assault and battery.

The complaint—filed Thursday in the Eastern District of Missouri—was brought by five plaintiffs, all of whom were arrested for failure to disperse during the protests.

In the complaint, Tracey Wright, alleges that she and her son were at the Ferguson McDonalds when they were thrown on the ground and arrested by Officer Justin Cosma.

[Cosma, who arrested and allegedly assaulted two reporters at the same McDonalds, is also the subject of another pending civil rights lawsuit claiming he choked a twelve-year-old.]

Another plaintiff, Dewayne Matthews, claims he was arrested and shot with rubber bullets while traveling to his mother's house

At that point, Plaintiff Matthews fell into a creek or sewer. [O]fficers pounced on him, slammed his face into the concrete, and pushed his head underwater to the point that he felt he was going to be drowned. Afterward, [p]olice officers continued to assault him and spray him with O.C. spray.

Plaintiff Kerry White claims he was arrested while shooting footage of the protests when an officer broke his memory card and arrested him.

The other two plaintiffs, Damon Coleman and Theophilus Green, claim they were peacefully protesting when police shot them with tear gas and rubber bullets before arresting them. Coleman and Green allege the officers shouted "racial epithets at them, while punching and kicking them the entire time."

The suit may be broadened to include other plaintiffs.

[image via AP]