A police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting...

ST. LOUIS -- A police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting of a 20-year-old woman has been named in a $60 million lawsuit filed by the victim's aunt.

Also charged in the suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court were Police Chief John Berner and the Board of Police Commissioners.


The suit was filed on behalf of the two sons of Marilyn Banks.

Miss Banks was sitting on her aunt's porch July 19 when a shot allegedly fired by Officer Joseph Ferrario struck her in the side. She died two days later, setting off protests by black leaders that the north side district where the shooting occurred is a 'dumping ground' for unfit officers.

Miss Banks was black. Ferrario is white.

A grand jury later indicted Ferrario on charges of manslaughter and filing a false report. He remains free on his own recognizance, but has been suspended without pay from the police force.

Ferrario said he was chasing a 16-year-old girl who had threatened him with a knife and shot at him when Miss Banks was wounded.

The suit charging Ferrario and police officials with negligence alleges that a gun found near the shooting scene was 'planted' by Ferrario to back up his story. Police later determined the pistol had not been fired and did not have fingerprints on it.


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