PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) --Former Missouri State Legislator Bruce Franks Jr. served a $2.5 million claim to the City of Phoenix on Wednesday.
Franks was arrested on Aug. 9 during a protest in front of Phoenix Police Department's headquarters in downtown Phoenix. The protest was promoted as the “Blue Silence March” to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson.
The attendees listened to Franks and then placed blue tape over their mouths and walked to headquarters. When they arrived, they found a barricade in front of the building. Protesters began chanting and standing in the street. Eventually, the fencing collapsed and the demonstrators moved onto the sidewalk.
Michael Brown Jr. was the 18-year-old Black man who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on August, 9, 2014.
At this point, Phoenix police officers in full riot gear approached the group. The notice of claim indicates Franks tried to calm the crowd and the police officers. However, police officers grabbed Franks. He complied with their orders, and officers reportedly thanked him for his role in trying to keep demonstrators under control.
Phoenix police pursued 13 criminal counts against Franks. At his initial appearance, the judge dismissed seven of those charges as legally meritless.
The notice of claim indicates all the evidence is on body-worn camera footage that the Phoenix Police Department has not released. Phoenix police did release a two-minute heavily-edited video that shows the events from that day, narrated by Sgt. Maggie Cox. Arizona’s Family asked Phoenix police if they plan to release the raw video from Frank's arrest. They did not respond to our email before this story was published.
On Aug. 21, Franks was indicted on four felony counts, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of rioting, and one count of resisting arrest. According to the notice of claim, the Phoenix police officer who testified before the grand jury did not show the members any video of Franks’ arrest.
Benedetto, who represents Franks, indicates that $2,400,000 is a fair estimate of his economic, emotional and reputation damages. It also represents a 10% “tax” on the $24 million on additional funding provided to the police from the city. Read the entire notice of claim here.
Franks served in the Missouri Legislature from 2016 to 2019. He is the subject of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, “St. Louis Superman”.