Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Michael Brown and the militarization of the police

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ― Elie Wiesel

AMONG all the hoopla and frenetic activity surrounding the midterm elections in Iowa and nationwide, I'm still thinking about the death of Michael Brown

Friday, October 24, Amnesty International released a 23-page report critical of the police department in Ferguson, MO

Below is part of a New York Times article with details. I've also attached some photographs taken in August by Robert Cohen for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and AP and by Scott Olson for Getty Images that appeared on the ABC News website, as a reminder of what's wrong with too much of law enforcement in this country now: the militarization of the police.

Amnesty International Report Faults the Police in Ferguson, Mo.
By Julie Bosman
October 24, 2014

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.

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.

This is NOT what our country is supposed to be.

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