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Michael Brown's Parents File Civil Suit Against Ferguson And Former Officer

The parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed man whom a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot and killed last August, have filed a civil lawsuit against the city, along with former police chief Thomas Jackson and Darren Wilson, the now-former officer who shot Brown, 18.

The lawsuit was filed by Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden at the St. Louis County Courthouse Thursday morning. It says Wilson "unjustifiably shot and killed" Brown, using "an unnecessary and unreasonable" amount of force.

You can read the lawsuit at the St. Louis Public Radio site; it says Jackson was responsible for hiring, training and supervising Wilson.

We've updated this post to reflect the filing has taken place.

Update at 11:50 a.m. ET: Family's Attorney Speaks After Filing Suit

Citing the Ferguson Police Department's internal culture, Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump said that an event like Brown's death should have been predictable.

"To this day, we still don't believe that the shooter of an unarmed 18-year-old teenager has never been cross-examined," Brown said after the lawsuit was filed.

He said the family has been seeking a "thorough independent review" in which Wilson could possibly be challenged.

Crump says that he has seen "the same narrative" from police involved in shootings of unarmed black men: "I felt in fear for my life; I had to shoot."

Reeling off recent high-profile cases in North Charleston, S.C., New York, Ohio, and elsewhere, Crump said that in those cases, "the police narrative is contradicted by the objective evidence."

The legal team said they won't be seeking a specific amount in monetary damages.

Our original post continues:

From St. Louis Public Radio:

"The civil suit is expected to rely on much of the same evidence presented in state and federal investigations into the police shooting. But attorney Anthony Gray said the lawsuit will show a 'more accurate picture of what took place that day.' "

The investigations into Brown's death did not result in indictments for Wilson. But a Department of Justice report on the city's police department found "a pattern of unconstitutional policing."

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.