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Amnesty sends a delegation to Ferguson

Amnesty International is sending a human rights delegation to Ferguson.

(FERGUSON, MO) – Today, Amnesty International USA announced that it has sent human rights delegation to Ferguson, MO to observe police and protester activity, gather testimony, seek meetings with officials and offer support to the community. The 12-person delegation also includes organizers who will train local activists on methods of non-violent protest.

“Law enforcement, from the FBI to state and local police, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities. The U.S. cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most,” said Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins.

“Our delegation will remain in Missouri until we have a clear picture of what is taking place on the ground, and we are able to work effectively with local activists on how to defend human rights at home.”

On Wednesday, August 13, Mr. Hawkins wrote to the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri to express his deep concern over the shooting of Michael Brown and the use of tear gas and rubber bullets at a demonstration against his death.

In other news, the Missouri Highway Patrol is taking over security from the Ferguson police department.

 

Comments

  1. Reality_based_community says

    Well, our governor removed the local PD and put the state highway patrol in charge. The adults. Captain Ron Johnson vowed no more tear gas, ordered all troopers to not come equipped with gas masks, and is personally mingling with the protesters. Geez, the way STL PD responded, one would think Godzilla was attacking the STL arch.

  2. Reality_based_community says

    And really, we need to see both sides, as I’ve been told in other forums. I mean, while the kid was unarmed and running away and was shot in the back with his hands in the air, he was doing all of that stuff in a *very* threatening manner.

  3. yahweh says

    This is off topic but I wondered if, Ophelia, you might think to comment on it (I don’t think you have already).

    This (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/15/metropolitan-police-forced-to-name-undercover-officers) is a case of undercover police officers who formed sexual relations and even married the subjects of their surveillance whilst concealing their true identities. Their lawyers are bringing a case against the Metropolitan Police but I am curious.

    Under English law, on the admitted facts, this is unambiguously rape (see http://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/news-and-events/blogs/criminal-law-blog/rape-deception-as-to-intention-vitiates-consent and many others) and the Crown Prosecution Service should presumably be acting.

    Again, apologies if already covered / too far off topic.

  4. yahweh says

    A better source (http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/rape_and_sexual_offences/consent/) says

    “The Sexual offences Act 1956 contains no statutory definition of ‘consent’. Juries must be told that the word should be given its ordinary meaning, and that there is a difference between ‘consent’ and ‘submission’.

    Lack of consent may be demonstrated by:

    The complainant’s assertion of force or threats;
    Evidence that by reason of drink, drugs, sleep, age or mental disability the complainant was unaware of what was occurring and/ or incapable of giving valid consent; or
    Evidence that the complainant was deceived as to the identity of the person with whom (s)he had intercourse.”

  5. John Morales says

    [OT]

    yahweh, there’s “the withdrawing room” thread (link on the sidebar) for such suggestions.

  6. Maureen Brian says

    But also, yahweh, the definition of rape was made clearer in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

    The business about deception is still there as invalidating consent and in the meanwhile ever firmer instructions have been given to judges that they should challenge the defendant where appropriate on why and how he came to believe he had consent.

    So the relevant question, should any legal eagle have the courage to ask it, will be, “If you had known that this person was deceiving you as to his identity, quite possibly had other relationships and would without warning or explanation just disappear and be untraceable, would you have got into a relationship with him?’ Not whether she would have agreed to have sex with him the odd time.

    Though the question of rape will need to be explored, the one of deliberate deception is the more important.

    Anyway, questions of the disproportionality of these undercover actions plus inadequate training and management have still to be explored in court.

    The Met is going to lose this one at some stage. They are simply wasting taxpayers’ money by dragging out the process for as long as possible.

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