Michael Brown Family Will File Civil Suit for Wrongful Death Against Darren Wilson [UPDATE]

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Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown's family at a protest in Clayton last summer.

Updated with a response from Darren Wilson's attorney, Neil Bruntrager.

At a press conference this morning, attorneys for the family of slain teenager Michael Brown announced their intention to file a civil suit for wrongful death.

Attorney Daryl Parks announced that former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will definitely be named in the suit as the "perpetrator," as will the city of Ferguson itself.

"They do not accept the self-defense theory," said Parks. "The standard we have is totally different. Criminal standard is criminal standard. A civil standard is a different standard."

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DOJ Tells Michael Brown Family There Will Be No Charges for Darren Wilson

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Bryan Sutter
Lesley McSpadden, center, Michael Brown's mother, and Michael Brown Sr., right.

In a two hour long meeting at the St. Louis headquarters of the FBI, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice informed the parents of Michael Brown that there will be no federal criminal charges against former-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown Sr. left the meeting halfway through, according to his wife, Cal.

"Of course my husband is heart broken," said Michael Brown Sr.'s wife Cal. "My husband wasn't really able to stomach sitting in its entirety so we left...he said he couldn't stand to hear them go through the evidence like that."

"They're pretty disappointed," said president of the local St. Louis NAACP chapter Adolphus Pruitt, who was also in the meeting. "It was two hours of getting disappointing news, and a vivid debate and discussion on the merits of their decision and the demerits of the decision."

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New York Cop Killer Vowed to Avenge Michael Brown's Death

Categories: Michael Brown

An Instagram post Brinsley published hours before killing two police officers.
In an Instagram post 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley knew might be his last, Brinsley wrote that he wanted to avenge the deaths of those killed by police, especially eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, killed in August in Ferguson.

"I'm putting wings on pigs today," Brinsley posted on Instagram under a picture of a gun. "They take one of ours...Let's take two of theirs. #Shootthepolice #RIPErivGardner (sic) #RIPMikeBrown."

Two hours later, Brinsley ambushed officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, shot them to death in broad daylight Saturday and ran away to a subway station, where he killed himself.

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Peaceful Protest In Clayton Over Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision Quickly Fizzles Out

Saddiyah Rice
We're pretty sure she means "McCulloch."
A Clayton demonstration organized to protest a grand-jury decision not to indict the police officer who choke-held Eric Garner to death in New York yesterday petered out after about an hour.

About 100 protesters gathered Wednesday evening at the foot of the steps to the St. Louis County Library in Clayton after news that the police officer who killed Garner would not be charged with a crime.

The Garner case had special significance in St. Louis, which has experienced near-nightly protests all over the city after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Last week, a grand-jury decision not to indict the then-Ferguson police officer who shot Brown was followed by a violent night of gun shots, looting, arson, tear gas and vandalism.

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Protesters Close Galleria and West County Center on Black Friday

Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
Demonstrators demanding justice for Michael Brown took their protest to two of St. Louis' toniest malls today, closing down the Galleria and West County Center on the busiest shopping day of the year.

About 100 protesters hit the Galleria around 1 p.m. and later staged a "die in" on the floor of the mall.

The mall later closed temporarily from around 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. Richmond Heights police reportedly made no arrests.

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Someone Torched Michael Brown Sr.'s Church

Jessica Lussenhop
Fire damage in the front room of the Flood Church on West Florissant.
The church attended by Michael Brown Jr.'s father was lit ablaze by arsonists at some point last night or possibly early this morning. Michael Sr. and his wife Cal were just there this past Sunday before the family was collectively baptized at another church just a few minutes down the road in Jennings.

At least a dozen Ferguson business were consumed in fires in the aftermath of the no-indictment announcement from the grand jury. However, the Flood Church fire is an outlier as it is located a mile away from the most destroyed parts of West Florissant, and the surrounding businesses were not damaged in any way.

"You go down this street, you see nothing else touched," said Pastor Carlton Lee after a press conference with the Brown family at Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. He said he strongly believes his church was targeted.

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For Michael Brown Sr., Weekend Brings a Baptism Instead of a Grand Jury Decision

Categories: Michael Brown

Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr. emerges from the baptism pool.

Michael Brown Sr. pulled his SUV into the parking lot of a tiny white clapboard church in Jennings on Sunday, accompanied by his wife, Cal, and their children. Once inside West Calvary Mission Baptist Church, he disappeared into the men's room on the left-hand side of the foyer while Cal ducked into the ladies' room on the right. When she emerged into the humid sanctuary, Cal had changed out of her dress and kitten heels and into a large T-shirt with a photo of her slain eighteen-year-old stepson Michael Brown Jr. across the front. Michael Sr. wore shorts and a sleeveless undershirt which revealed a tattoo of Michael Jr. on his right shoulder.

They'd come to be baptized. It was a family event, planned months ago. Michael Jr. was supposed to be there, too.

Instead -- as the world knows well -- Michael Jr. was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. A grand jury's decision on whether or not to indict Wilson in the killing was rumored to be coming out this weekend -- in fact, at about the same time that the Brown family was scheduled to ascend the dais and be dipped, one by one, in the warm baptismal pool.

But when the grand jury adjourned Friday without making a decision, the Browns were able to go ahead with their long-delayed plans.

"It's just been so much stuff going on, we haven't had a chance to do it," said Michael Sr. "After all the stuff that's been happening, we have to keep doing positive things...it's just something we needed to do for our family."

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Grand Jury Expected to Reconvene Today, Unclear If Proceedings Will Ever Be Public

Jessica Lussenhop
The Buzz Westfall Justice Center in downtown Clayton.

The grand jury in the Darren Wilson-Michael Brown case is expected to reconvene at some point today after failing to make a decision on whether or not to indict Wilson by the end of the day on Friday.

Speculation was rampant that the decision would be announced at some point on Sunday, especially after barricades went up all around the St. Louis County Police Department and courthouse buildings, and the street in front of the Buzz Westfall Justice Center was completely blocked off. But various reports, including an email from Downtown STL Inc., surfaced throughout the afternoon Saturday that said different.

"There will not be an announcement this weekend as previously expected. Jurors will reconvene to deliberate on Monday. We do not know when they might reach a decision or when that decision might be made public," the email reads.

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Brown Family Attorneys Ask for Peace, Law Enforcement Restraint As Pathologist Testifies

Jessica Lussenhop
Louis Head, Michael Brown Jr.'s stepfather, at this morning's press conference in Clayton.

Attorneys for the family of slain teenager Michael Brown Jr. addressed the media this morning on a blustery day in downtown Clayton. Inside the Buzz Westfall Justice Center behind them, Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist who performed a secondary autopsy on Brown's body, began his testimony before the grand jury. It is believed he is one of the final witnesses the group will hear from as they consider whether or not to charge Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown.

Attorney Benjamin Crump declined to go into the substance of Baden's testimony, and focused his remarks mainly on a message to area law enforcement.

"Regardless of the decision of the grand jury, this will be a defining moment in the history of the state of Missouri," Crump said. "To the law enforcement officers who will be patrolling the streets, we would like to thank you in advance for not having a repeat of the horrific encounters that took place in August."

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Governor Nixon Lays Out Plan for Post-Grand Jury Announcement Law Enforcement Strategy

Jessica Lussenhop
Governor Jay Nixon lays out plans for protests in Ferguson and St. Louis after the grand-jury announcement.
Governor Jay Nixon announced the law-enforcement strategy for future protests in Ferguson and St. Louis at a press conference this afternoon at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C headquarters in St. Charles County.

Nixon said three local agencies -- the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol -- will form a unified command to maintain security during protests. The National Guard, which was called up during protests in August, will hold back, Nixon said, until "we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement."

"As governor, the most important part of my job is keeping the people of Missouri safe," Nixon said. "That is why we have been working around the clock to prepare to keep residents and businesses of the St. Louis region safe -- regardless of the outcome of the parallel local and federal investigations."

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