The parents of Michael Brown, the Ferguson, Mo. teen who was killed last year by police officer Darren Wilson, said they plan to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit “very shortly,” according to one of their attorneys, Anthony Gray.
Gray said the family had not been in agreement with the Justice Department’s recent decision not to charge Wilson in their son’s shooting, and had made the decision to file the lawsuit shortly thereafter.
The Justice Department reportedly found there was not sufficient evidence to charge Wilson in Brown’s death, but established in a separate investigation that the Ferguson Police Department had shown a pattern of racial bias.
Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s parents, released the following statement regarding the matter:
“Today we received disappointing news from the Department of Justice that the killer of our son wouldn’t be held accountable for his actions. While we are saddened by this decision, we are encouraged that the DOJ will hold the Ferguson Police Department accountable for the pattern of racial bias, and profiling they found in their handling of interactions with people of color. It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson, but around the country. If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain.”
In November, a grand jury had cleared Wilson of the shooting.
However, Gray said the civil lawsuit will rely on “pretty much the same evidence,” but, the jury in the civil lawsuit will be asked to make a determination based on a lower burden of proof, which will be made by a preponderance of evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.