Lawsuits alleging police brutality against the Ferguson protest movement are likely to rise as the nation waits to see whether the city’s new police chief can prove his police brutality claim is credible.
A coalition of civil rights groups is suing the city and its police department on behalf of four protesters who have been arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and rioting.
In a news conference Wednesday, the lawsuit names the city, St. Louis County and the St. Joseph police department.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Missouri and alleges the police used excessive force, arrested the protesters, and then lied about the incidents.
The protesters say they were repeatedly assaulted by officers and detained without reasonable cause, according to the suit.
“The city’s failure to protect these defendants from unlawful arrest, excessive force and unlawful detention violated the constitutional rights of these individuals and violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit says.
It also claims the city was negligent in providing adequate supervision and training for the officers involved.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Barbara Jones has already ruled on whether the case should proceed to trial.
As of Wednesday afternoon, only one of the four protesters, John Crawford III, was in jail and the other four protesters were being held in pretrial custody.
There was no indication the lawsuit could be resolved before trial.