Judge Tosses Ferguson Protesters’ Suit Against Police

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A federal judge dismissed a civil rights lawsuit that alleged police used excessive force against Ferguson protesters and violated their civil rights, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey ruled in favor of summary judgment motions filed by police, police officials, St. Louis County, and the city of Ferguson. Lawyers for protesters said they would appeal. Autrey said that the protesters who filed the suit “have completely failed to present any credible evidence that any of the actions taken by these individuals were taken with malice or were committed in bad faith.”

The judge said protesters were told to disperse, and when they did not and officers were ordered to begin making arrests, those officers gave repeated warnings before they started making arrests. Heruled that individual police officers were “entitled to official and qualified immunity” from the lawsuit, and therefore their supervisors and St. Louis County were also entitled to immunity. Autrey said that many of the plaintiffs’ claims were not backed up by video evidence or other testimony. Tracey White, one of the plaintiffs, had alleged that she and her 17-year-old son were arrested inside of a McDonald’s. She claimed officers with rifles rushed in “like something out of a movie.” Videos showed that she was actually arrested a block away. “She agreed that video showed an officer placing hand ties on her, and that she was not on the ground, and that there was no knee in her back,” Autrey wrote.

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