(NEW YORK, NY) — According to media reports, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will begin an investigation into the police department of Ferguson, MO in addition to the department’s investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown. In response, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:
“The Justice Department’s decision to investigate the Ferguson Police Department is a welcome one. The department should also investigate any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests in Ferguson. It’s essential that there be total transparency and accountability when it comes to law enforcement’s use of force on community members.”
Amnesty International USA has also called on Attorney General Holder to lead the creation of a national commission to examine the use of excessive and lethal force, the militarization of police and to direct the Justice Department to collect and publish nationwide statistics on police shootings.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in over 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.