St. Louis, MO - A federal appeals court has decided that Michael Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson, may have his lawsuit against former officer Darren Wilson and ex-chief Thomas Jackson proceed, despite some obvious issues with the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Darren Wilson and Thomas Jackson were not immune from the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is based off of the premise that Officer Wilson illegally detained Dorian Johnson and Michael Brown after he pulled his SUV in front of them.
Johnson was walking with Brown after Brown had just robbed a convenience store. When Officer Darren Wilson arrived, Brown attacked the officer while Johnson ran away.
Now Johnson claims that he was illegally detained, even though there was reasonable suspicion to detain him, and Johnson fled the scene so he never acknowledged that he was being detained. The officers' lawyer made a motion to have the case thrown out, because Johnson's movements weer never restrained.
The 8th Circuit panel said that according to Johnson's version of events, "the law was sufficiently clear" that "a reasonable officer in Officer Wilson's position would not have shot his gun," according to ABC News. It's not clear what that has to do with Johnson claiming his civil rights were violated while he was running away to avoid a detention.
Of course, this isn't the first potential payday in the Michael Brown case.
As a reward for Michael Brown attempting to murder a police officer, Fox2Now reported that last month a federal judge approved a payment of $1.5 million to be paid by the insurance company to Michael Brown's parents.
Documents about the Michael Brown settlement had previously been sealed, but then details were finally released by the Ferguson City Attorney.
In January, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber, ordered the parents of Michael Brown to turn over requested medical and education records in their wrongful-death lawsuit, despite the protests of his parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lezley McSpadden.
The records that have been requested included the parents' medical records for the past five years, their son's education records, and certain medical documents.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge Webber said, "The court will not limit the medical records to treatment sought by the plaintiffs for damages specifically related to this matter because (the) defendants will need to evaluate whether the claimed injuries actually occurred as a result of the death of their son."
The documentation was requested by the defense attorneys who represent the City of Ferguson, the Officer Darren Wilson, and the former Police Chief of the Ferguson Police Department. In the lawsuit, Brown's parents state they have "sustained permanent injuries including mental anguish" since his death.
Judge Webber dismissed the parents' claim that the release of the records was "harassing and invasive" by further stating "Repeatedly asserting the same objections to each request is not enough to protect against disclosure."
Attorneys for Brown's parents have argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages. Attorneys for the defendants countered that Brown's complete medical records were necessary and relevant in determining his 'potenital life expectancy and future income.'
In a book that she wrote in 2016, Brown's mother Lezley McSpadden said that her son had "high blood pressure, headaches, impaired vision and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." The medical records that Judge Webber ordered released include Brown's medical history since he was 10-years-old.
The Judge also ordered the release of Brown's parents' tax returns since 2009, stating that it was "a straightforward way" in assessing how their income has changed since Brown's death.
He also ordered that records of any income that was made from "sales of merchandise or memorabilia featuring their son's likeness, as well as proceeds from any GoFundMe campaigns or other fundraisers linked to his death" must be released as well.
Presumably, the information discovered since the lawsuit began convinced Michael Brown's parents to take a settlement from the insurance company rather than risk the lawsuit going bad in court.
It's hard to argue that there's lost income over your son's death when you're selling merchandise and capitalizing on his death. Had Brown lived, he would have been supported by taxpayers in prison and presumably made little to no income.
While you may find it disturbing that the family of a justifiably-dead violent criminal is getting a payday, the truth is that just about all families of justifiably-dead criminals get a payday. No matter how clear-cut a justified shooting is, insurance companies stand-by to pay the families.