Al Sharpton with Mike Brown’s parents
Permanent injuries including mental anguish.
That is a legally recognizable cause of action for a lawsuit filed to allow recovery of damages for losses that can’t be quantified.
It covers things like insomnia, depression, inability to work and even the inability to enjoy life.
It describes Darren Wilson’s life since August 10, 2014 – only to a certain extent.
The day before, he had a lot to look forward to – marriage, a baby on the way, work in a career he had always wanted.
Then, in 45 seconds, he became the center of a public whirlwind and media firestorm, the most reviled and, in some quarters, hated man in America.
He lost his job, his reputation and, despite repeated investigations exonerating him of any wrongdoing – he lost his freedom.
He has spent the past three years in hiding, unable to find a job in his field or rehabilitate his reputation.
He looks forward to a civil lawsuit that would strip away what little earning potential he has.
The strain on his psyche, his health, and his family are tremendous.
But it is the family of Michael Brown, the teenage thug who gave rise to a false narrative that fueled riots across the nation, who recovered from permanent injuries including mental anguish.
The parents of Brown sued the City of Ferguson, the Officer Darren Wilson, and the former Police Chief of the Ferguson Police Department for their anguish when Wilson shot their son as he attempted to wrestle his gun away from him.
They had sued, also, for lost their son’s potential earnings, but given Brown’s health issues and the dismal likelihood of him actually finding gainful employment, the parents wisely decided to settle the lawsuit.
The amount was initially sealed by the federal judge who oversaw the case but has now been released.
In case anyone wonders what permanent injuries including mental anguish are worth, the answer in the case of the parents of Michael Brown is concerned is $1.5 million.
They are millionaires while Darren Wilson remains in hiding, tarnished and unemployed.
For Darren Wilson, the officer who acted to save his life that August day in Ferguson, Missouri, there is a different value that has been put on his permanent injuries including mental anguish.