Amnesty says Ferguson police violated protesters rights

The police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters during demonstrations after the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, according to a report issued by Amnesty International on Friday. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/us/amnesty-internation-report-faults-the-police-in-ferguson-mo.html?ref=us
The human rights group said the Ferguson Police Department should review its standards, practices and training to ensure that they “conform fully to international standards.” And investigations into Mr. Brown’s death should be transparent and concluded as quickly as possible, the 23-page report said.
Amnesty International said it witnessed protests in Ferguson from Aug. 14 to Aug. 22. Mr. Brown was shot on Aug. 9.
Among the offenses police committed, according to Amnesty International, were using tear gas and curfews to quell protests, and arresting journalists who were covering demonstrations. Protesters who gathered in Ferguson were intimidated by officers who used unnecessary force to control and disperse them, the report said.
“Irrespective of whether there was some sort of physical confrontation between Michael Brown and the police officer, Michael Brown was unarmed and thus unlikely to have presented a serious threat to the life of the police officer,” the report said.
Asked to comment on the report, Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County police, said: “The St. Louis County Police Department and the unified command had one mission, and that was the preservation of life.”
Mr. Brown’s killing is under investigation by the St. Louis County police. A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case since late August and is expected to return sometime in the next month.
The Justice Department is investigating to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Mr. Brown, knowingly violated Mr. Brown’s civil rights when he shot and killed him.

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