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Amnesty International USA Calls for Investigation of Police Tactics in Ferguson
(AUGUST 18, 2014 - FERGUSON, MO) - As communities across the nation stand witness to the killing of an unarmed African American teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, Amnesty International USA was on the ground monitoring events. With the return of its human rights delegation from Ferguson, the organization today called for an investigation into police tactics used during protests.
Amnesty International USA sent a 13-person human rights delegation, which included observers who monitored police and protester activity and sought meetings with officials. Other members of the delegation trained local activists in methods of non-violent protest.
"Amnesty International has a long and tested history of monitoring and investigating police conduct, not just in foreign countries, but right here at home in the United States," said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Our delegation traveled to Missouri to let the authorities in Ferguson know that the world is watching. We want a thorough investigation into Michael Brown's death and the series of events that followed."
Amnesty International USA is calling for:
* A prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown. Brown's family must be kept informed throughout the investigation. Under international law, police officers suspected of having committed unlawful acts must be held to account through effective investigation, and where warranted, prosecuted.
* All police departments involved in policing the ongoing protests in Ferguson in response to Michael Brown's death must act in accordance with international human rights standards. Any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests must be independently and impartially investigated, and those responsible held accountable.
* A thorough review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regards to the use of force and the policing of protests should be undertaken.
"Moving forward, we must seize this moment to bring about a wide-ranging review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regard to the use of force and the policing of protests in Ferguson and around the country," added Hawkins. "This is a moment for people around the country – and around the world - to join the Ferguson community in raising concerns about race and policing, and about the impact of militarization on our fundamental right to peacefully assemble."
Photo: Kalaya'an Mendoza, one of Amnesty's 13-person human rights delegation, on the ground in Ferguson (Photo Credit: Amnesty USA).
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.