U.S. News

Ferguson settles lawsuit over black teen killed by police in Missouri

(Reuters) - The parents of black teenager Michael Brown and the city of Ferguson, Missouri, have settled a lawsuit over his fatal shooting by a white city police officer in 2014, according to a court document filed on Monday.

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Brown’s death triggered sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and around the United States, fueled by later police killings of unarmed black men in other cities. It also helped spark debate about racial bias in the U.S. justice system.

Terms of the wrongful death settlement between Ferguson and Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, were not disclosed. U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber approved the settlement and ordered it sealed.

“The gross settlement amount is fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests of each plaintiff,” Webber wrote.

Both James Knowles, the mayor of the blue-collar, largely black St. Louis suburb, and Anthony Gray, the lead attorney for Brown’s parents, declined to comment.

Brown and McSpadden, his ex-wife, sued the city, former Police Chief Tom Jackson, and former police officer Darren Wilson in 2015.

Wilson shot Brown, 18, multiple times after a confrontation in August 2014 as Brown and a friend walked through their neighborhood.

Images of the teen’s body, which lay in the street for more than four hours, and an aftermath in which police officials defended Wilson’s actions and characterized Brown as a thief, enraged many in the black community.

A federal probe of Brown’s killing found systematic racial discrimination that targeted black residents and created a “toxic environment” in Ferguson.

The report said the city overwhelmingly arrested and issued traffic citations to blacks to boost city coffers, used police as a collection agency and fomented a culture of distrust that exploded when Brown was shot.

A grand jury decided not to charge Wilson, and the U.S. Justice Department declined to bring any charges of civil rights violations against him.

Brown’s death helped spark the “Black Lives Matter” movement protesting what was widely seen as the use of unrestrained lethal force against minorities by police.

Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler and Lisa Shumaker