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Federal lawsuit claims police brutality, wrongful arrests at Ferguson shooting protests

A federal lawsuit alleges that police in Ferguson and St. Louis County used excessive force and falsely arrested innocent bystanders amid attempts to quell widespread unrest after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The five plaintiffs in the suit filed Thursday include a clinical social worker who says she and her 17-year-old son were roughed up and arrested after not evacuating a McDonald's quickly enough. A 23-year-old man says he was shot multiple times with rubber bullets and called racial slurs while walking through the protest zone to his mother's home. And one man says he was arrested for filming the disturbances.

The lawsuit seeks $40 million in damages. Attorney Malik Shabazz said it could be broadened to include additional plaintiffs. Official in Ferguson and Clayton declined comment.

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