CONTACT: Mandy Simon, 212.633.4162, [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, DC) — In response to reports that the Department of Justice will release its findings from a civil rights investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, Amnesty International USA executive director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:
“The Justice Department should be commended for using the tools at its disposal to investigate the Ferguson Police Department. Michael Brown’s death touched off a long-overdue and much-needed conversation about race and policing that must continue. The U.S. still has a long way to go before it has truly accountable policing. This country’s long history of racial profiling and other police abuses is only matched by its equally long history of inadequate accountability for those responsible. President Obama should support the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system and make recommendations on comprehensive criminal justice reform.
“Ferguson is one of thousands of cities in this country with entrenched tension between law enforcement and the communities it is tasked to protect. The Justice Department can and should move forward with a national review of police tactics and practices, especially those concerning deadly force. Not only that, it must begin to require all police agencies to collect and publish the statistics on deaths by law enforcement. We still don’t know exactly how many people are killed by police officers every year.“
To read On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson, go to: http://amnestyusa.org/OnTheStreetsOfAmerica
Follow Steven W. Hawkins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/StevenWHawkins
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people in over 190 countries who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
(Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)