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Amnesty Calls On Attorney General To Investigate Police Response To Ferguson Protests

“The public needs to know what measures the government will be taking to prevent excessive or unnecessary force from being used in the future – not only in Ferguson, but in every town and city in the United States.”

Police use a large mall parking lot as a staging area and command post for addressing protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, August 17, 2014. Mark Kauzlarich / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Amnesty International is stepping up its efforts to address policing issues in America — calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to start an investigation into police actions at the protests in Ferguson.

With Holder arriving in Missouri to meet with federal and elected officials and community members in Ferguson, Amnesty International USA released four recommendations — one of which is specific to the situation in Ferguson. The other recommendations call for broad examination of lethal force and police shootings across the country.

“Attorney General Holder must reassure the people of Ferguson that a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into Michael Brown’s death is being conducted,” Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins said in a statement. “The public needs to know what measures the government will be taking to prevent excessive or unnecessary force from being used in the future – not only in Ferguson, but in every town and city in the United States.”

Amnesty International USA is calling for:

- The Attorney General to begin an independent investigation into the use of force in connection with the policing of protests in Ferguson;

- Prompt implementation of a Justice Department-led review of police tactics, including the use of lethal force;

- The creation of a national commission to examine the use of excessive and lethal force, the militarization of police and the United States’ adherence to its human rights obligations in policing protests;

- The collection and publication of nationwide statistics on police shootings by the Justice Department.

Amnesty drew international attention to the issues in Ferguson when it sent a 13-person human rights delegation to the city in the wake of the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown. It was “unprecedented” for the group to take such action within the U.S., an organizer who is part of the delegation told BuzzFeed.

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at chris.geidner@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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