A multi-million-dollar civil lawsuit filed Thursday accuses police officials in Ferguson, Missouri of violating civil rights in the central U.S. town during largely peaceful protests in recent weeks.
Five plaintiffs are seeking $40 million in the federal suit that alleges local police used excessive force, assaulted and unlawfully detained demonstrators after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer in early August.
The City of Ferguson and St. Louis County are named in the suit, as are the police chiefs and police officers of both localities.
Hundreds of protestors were arrested in recent weeks after facing off with police wearing riot gear. Three of the plaintiffs in the suit allege officers shot them with rubber bullets during demonstrations.
In a separate court proceeding, a grand jury in Missouri is examining whether Brown’s shooter, Officer Darren Wilson, will face charges in the teen’s death.