Culture Beat / Oct. 4, 2016

Ferguson Protestors Lose Civil Rights Lawsuit

The message is clear: Rioting and defying authority is not excusable behavior.

A group of Ferguson protestors was denied restitution on Friday more than two years after they accused police officers of civil rights abuses during the supervising of a riotous crowd. However, the allegations, which culminated into a hefty $41.5 million lawsuit, could not be corroborated, and the officers actions were unequivocally justified, according to U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey.

In the ruling Judge Autrey states: “With regard to the state law claims, Plaintiffs have completely failed to present any credible evidence that any of the actions taken by these individuals were taken with malice or were committed in bad faith. The record is clear that at the time of the events detailed herein, the atmosphere surrounding the arrests was extremely intense and had turned violent.”

He added: “It is undisputed in the record that the individual defendants were reacting to their orders to arrest those that did not disperse, and more importantly were reacting to the threats of harm to themselves and the people, who were otherwise peaceable and following orders to disperse gathered, in the streets. They acted without malice or bad faith; they clearly had arguable probable cause to arrest any individual who refused to comply with the orders to disperse.”

The decision is being appealed. But the judge’s ruling makes one thing very clear: Rioting and defying authority is not excusable behavior. And tossing Molotov cocktails, destroying police cruisers and physically assaulting officers is a shoddy attempt at milking taxpayers for tens of millions of dollars.

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