Dorian Johnson, Witness to Michael Brown Shooting, Sues Ferguson and Darren Wilson

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MSNBC screengrab
Dorian Johnson in one of his first TV interviews.

Dorian Johnson, the man who was walking with Michael Brown just before his fatal encounter with former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, is suing the City of Ferguson, Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson.

The documents, first obtained by the Post-Dispatch, claim that "without any provocation by Plaintiff Johnson and without any legal justification, Officer Wilson withdrew his weapon and fired it at Plaintiff Johnson and Michael Brown, Jr. as they fled and ran away from him, striking Brown several more times."

"The purpose of this lawsuit is to bring Darren Wilson to justice," says James Williams, Johnson's attorney. "Dorian Johnson was very courageous, as was the Brown family, for not letting this go."

Williams also revealed that while Johnson is currently still in the St. Louis area and that he will soon enroll at a four-year university to complete his bachelor's degree. Williams would not name the institution but said it is not in Missouri.

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Michael Brown's Parents File Wrongful Death Suit Against Darren Wilson, Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr., Lesley McSpadden and attorney Anthony Gray arrive at the St. Louis County Courthouse.

At a press conference this morning, attorneys for the family of Michael Brown Jr. announced the filing of a lawsuit against the City of Ferguson, former police officer Darren Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson.

Before the press conference began, Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, his aunt Brittanie McSpadden and his grandmother Desuirea Harris gathered across the street from the St. Louis County Courthouse. Daily RFT asked Harris if a positive outcome from the lawsuit would be of any comfort to her.

"Never. Not to me. Not for me," she said.

"He's breathing this air we're breathing," Brittanie said of Darren Wilson. "[His arrest] is the only thing that would make me feel a little bit better."

Brown's mother called the lawsuit "just another part of the journey."

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Ferguson City Council Will Consider Request for Permanent Michael Brown Memorial

Jessica Lussenhop
The weather-worn memorial on Canfield Drive, November 11, 2014.

The spot in the street where Michael Brown died has become hallowed ground in the past eight months. A memorial there grew from a bunch of roses laid by his mother to a tall, narrow pile of stuffed animals, framed pictures, T-shirts, flowers and other trinkets. An even more massive memorial bloomed on a nearby lamp post.

Though it has attracted visitors from all over the world, some locals have grown weary of it.

"There's a lot of residents that are not happy with dodging a memorial in the middle of the street," says Ferguson mayor James Knowles. "We've had to try to plow around it in the winter months. We've had people, unfortunately, drive through them, whether it's purposeful or accidental. It creates a road hazard."

Last night, the issue was formally brought before the newly seated Ferguson City Council in the form of a letter from the Joint Council On Policy and Social Impact, requesting in conjunction with the Brown family that a permanent marker be laid and the current memorial cleared.

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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's just something we needed to do for our family."

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