- The Washington Times - Friday, August 29, 2014

Six Missouri residents filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging police in Ferguson used excessive force and made false arrests.

The Los Angeles Times reported that one claimant, Dewayne Matthews Jr., said he was standing with his hands in the air, in surrender mode, when police officers wearing riot gear riddled him with rubber bullets and slammed him into the concrete. He alleged police also sprayed him with some sort of chemical spray, despite the fact he wasn’t engaging in any aggressive or violent manner.

Another plaintiff, Tracey White, says she and her son, 13, were waiting to exit McDonald’s at the time police stormed into the restaurants and arrested them without cause, she alleged, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A couple of other plaintiffs say they were simply joining in the chant of “hands up, don’t shoot,” when riot police shot rubber bullets at them and fired tear gas and stun grenades. The men, Damon Coleman and Theophilus Green, also allege police used racial slurs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The six say the police humiliated them and abused their civil rights, and their lawsuit seeks millions in damages.

The protests in Ferguson kicked off when Darren Wilson, a local police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, 18. The circumstances of the shooting — whether it was self-defense versus overly aggressive — are now the subject of a grand jury investigation.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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