Five people who were arrested during protests in Ferguson, Missouri is suing the city’s police department for $40 million. 

The federal lawsuit accuses police of using “wanton and excessive force” and treating citizens “as if they were war combatants.”

From CNN:

A complaint filed Thursday alleges that police officers from Ferguson and St. Louis County used unnecessary force and made unjustified arrests as they cracked down on protests after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown earlier this month.

The lawsuit lists Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, Ferguson officer Justin Cosma, several unnamed officers and the city and county governments as defendants.

A St. Louis County police spokesman declined to comment Friday, referring inquiries to the county prosecuting attorney’s office. The St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office told CNN it has no comment on the lawsuit.

Read more at CNN

The suit, which details circumstances allegedly surrounding several arrests between August 11-13, includes accusations of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision and assault and battery.

Tactics used by police in the region to calm crowds drew sharp criticism, including a rebuke from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message,” Holder said as the protests unfolded.

Police were believed to be scaling back their efforts now that the situation has cooled down.


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