Saying they wanted to wait until the end of federal and state investigations, the Brown family has officially confirmed that they are now planning a suit against both Wilson and the city of Ferguson over the death of their unarmed son, Michael Brown.
“We are officially in the process of formulating a civil case that we anticipate will be filed shortly on behalf of the family,” Anthony Gray, an attorney for the family, said on Thursday.
Officer Wilson shot Brown during a confrontation last August. While Wilson claims that his life was in danger and that Brown represented a threat, reaching for the officer's gun, several eyewitnesses have maintained that the teenager was unarmed and posed no danger.
“In our case we plan to show and outline pretty much the same evidence [as the Justice Department considered]. However you will get a more clear, a more accurate picture of what took place that day,” Gray said. “We feel and we’ve always felt from the very beginning that officer Darren Wilson did not have to shoot and kill Mike Brown in broad daylight in the manner that he did. That he had other options available to him and that he chose deadly force as his option."
A grand jury refused to indict Officer Wilson in the death, which led to days of rioting in cities across the United States.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that it would not pursue Wilson for civil rights violations. But a separate DOJ report found widespread racial bias within the Ferguson police department. The investigation found that the overwhelmingly white police force was unfairly targeting black citizens. According to DOJ officials, that investigation will result in significant changes within the department, or a federal lawsuit will be filed.
Also on Wednesday,the Brown family released a statement calling for an end to racial profiling.
"If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain," the statement read.
The lawsuit hopes to achieve that goal.
“So we ask that you stay tuned," the Brown family attorney said. "Once we have a complaint that is fully formulated, it will be available to the public.”