Amnesty International USA today reiterated its concerns and recommendations for ensuring respect for human rights in policing to the President’s Task Force on Policing in the 21st Century, which was holding its first public listening session.
Citing the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Tamir Rice and others at the hands of police, Amnesty International USA demanded international human rights standards be incorporated into police codes of conduct and training.
“These incidents of lethal force have demonstrated the need to take a deeper look at policing tactics and biased policing on a national level,” said Amnesty International USA executive director Steven W. Hawkins in written testimony submitted to the taskforce. “The human rights impacted range from right to life, to freedom from discrimination and equality before the law, to freedom of expression and assembly.”
As part of the testimony, Hawkins included a list of fourteen recommendations including:
- Review of local and federal policing policies concerning deadly force
- Collection and publication on national statistics on police shootings
- Proper training concerning racial profiling, crowd control, and use of force
- Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act and the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act
Law enforcement officers have a right to defend themselves and a duty to protect the safety of the public, but this role must be carried out in a way that ensures full respect for the right to life, liberty and security of all persons, including those suspected of crime.
“Federal, state and local authorities must make clear that abuses including unnecessary or excessive force, torture or other ill-treatment by police officers will not be tolerated; that officers will be held accountable for their actions; and that those responsible for abuses will be brought to justice.”
Read the full testimony: