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(ST. LOUIS, MO) –A federal court today issued a preliminary injunction against police operating in Ferguson, Missouri, to stop them from issuing instructions to peaceful citizens, including protesters, to keep moving or risk arrest.
During the protests that were staged in Ferguson in the aftermath of the police shooting death of Michael Brown, some officers threatened protesters, journalists and others with arrest if they stood still or moved too slowly.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri subsequently brought a lawsuit challenging this rule on behalf of a program associate who alleged that he had been told repeatedly to keep moving or be arrested. A delegation from Amnesty International USA that included human rights observers was in Ferguson during the August protests.
“The internationally recognized right of peaceful assembly is essential for the protection of other human rights and must be fully respected,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “The unlawful actions of a few should not be used as an excuse to take these fundamental rights away from the community.”