A federal judge has dismissed a $41.5 million lawsuit filed against police by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters from Ferguson, Missouri, who charged that officials violated their civil rights during the 2014 riots in the St. Louis suburb.
Saying the protesters had no credible evidence, U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey agreed with motions to dismiss filed by officials from St. Louis County and the City of Ferguson, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.
Judge Autrey ruled that the protesters “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 judge went on to point out that Ferguson police issued numerous warnings to the protesters to disperse, not to mention warnings that arrests would be made if crowds persisted and, therefore, protesters was fully informed about what was about to happen.
Autrey also said that many of the claims in the lawsuit could not be substantiated by video evidence or, in many cases, even eyewitness testimony.
In one case, for instance, plaintiff Tracey White claimed she was accosted by police inside a McDonald’s and arrested, yet video evidence showed she was arrested on the street and a full block away from the restaurant.
White claimed police roughed her up and used racial epithets as they did so. But the judge also disputed her testimony on what happened to her as she was arrested.
Autrey noted that video shows a different story. “She agreed that video showed an officer placing hand ties on her, and that she was not on the ground, and that there was no knee in her back,” Autrey wrote in his ruling. “No racial epithets or slurs were used against Tracey White.”
White’s testimony was but one of a long list of claims the judge found to be wholly without merit as he summarily rejected the lawsuit.
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