Amnesty International documents human rights violations by Ferguson police

Friday, October 24, 2014

Good morning:

76 days ago Darren Wilson, a police officer with the Ferguson Police Department, shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown who was running away from him following a tussle with Wilson at Wilson’s police vehicle that ended with Wilson shooting Brown in the arm. Six independent eyewitnesses to the shooting said he had stopped running away from Wilson, turned around and raised his hands in the universally understood signal of surrender. Instead of arresting him, which he has been trained to do, he executed him with his gun.

I believe Wilson should have been arrested, charged with murder and tried in a court of law.

Instead, he is a free man today and likely to remain so.

A grand jury is investigating the shooting, but an avalanche of selected leaks from unidentified officials beginning last Saturday and media reports spinning the information in a manner that is uniquely favorable to Wilson suggests that the grand jury is being manipulated into not indicting Wilson and the public is being groomed to accept that decision without complaint.

I believe the unidentified officials in the St.Louis County prosecutor’s office, under the direction of Bob McCulloch, and the Ferguson Police Department who are engaged in a conspiracy to literally ‘whitewash’ Darren Wilson’s criminal conduct by intentionally misleading and corrupting the grand jury investigation.

The people of Ferguson were and continue to be incensed by the failure of the police to arrest, charge and prosecute Wilson for murder.

Since the shooting, they have engaged in a series of mostly peaceful public protests.

Instead of respecting their constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protest, the police responded wearing full military gear with tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrests.

Amnesty International has released a 23-page report today documenting human rights abuses by the Ferguson Police Department. The report was compiled by Amnesty International observers who monitored the mostly peaceful demonstrations.

As awful and frustrating as matters are today, we are headed toward an uncertain future that could get much worse.

Please take a few minutes today to read this important document and tell us what you think in the comments below.

31 Responses to Amnesty International documents human rights violations by Ferguson police

  1. Trisha says:

    Monday – October 27, 2014 3:00 PM ET USA

    Last night we announced that we have received over the past several days a series of leaks from two separate and unrelated sources regarding the long awaited Grand Jury decision regarding the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson. In our opinion after careful analysis the sources are reliable, and the information we are about to reveal is true. Both sources are government employees with access to both internal government as well as confidential police communications. For reasons of safety we will not be revealing anything further on either our sources or the material leaked to us. The following is a synopses of the leaked information:

    On or about November 10, 2014 the Grand Jury decision will be announced. Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted on ANY charges related to the murder of Mike Brown. All local police Chiefs and jail commanders have been notified to begin preparing for major civil unrest. Governor Nixon has been notified of the impending announcement and has ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin preparations for a possible re-enstatement of the martial law that was declared at the beginning of the Ferguson protests.

    As additional evidence that neither the State nor Federal authorities intend any legal action against Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown, one of our sources has provided a very intriguing close up glimpse of Darren Wilson – his current where abouts and lifestyle.

    Darren Wilson is still in the St. Louis area and recently attended a Blues game. He has been made aware of the impending Grand Jury and US DOJ decisions in his favor and is now comfortable enough that he has just closed purchase on a new home in the south county area. He is still co-habitating with his girl friend “Barbie”, who is now pregnant with their first child. I guess his paid vacation for murder has been productive in more ways then one.

    In an attempt to “protect” himself, Darren Wilson has altered his appearance. His hairline & hair color have been altered and he has grown a substantial beard. He is operating under the alias “Darren Obrien” or another false identity.

    Finally on an un-related note. “Josie” who called into a radio station during the early days of the Ferguson protests and purported to give Darren Wilson’s “side” of the story, from which many conservative media outlets (such as FOX News) have since spun the most outlandish falsehoods – has been identified as an account assistant at Javelin, Inc. and is associated with the Ferguson PD. We are still gathering info on this person and what exactly her relationship is with the FPD and her interest in Mike Brown’s murder.

    As more information is leaked to us we will update this document. Please follow us on Twitter @OpFerguson and visit our website at http://www.OperationFerguson.cf where this leak and other valuable information related to the Ferguson Movement is posted and regularly updated.
    http://pastebin.com/CJ5ipU7W

    • Thank you for posting this notice.

      I believe they are waiting to announce this unjust decision until after the election because they are afraid it will motivate people to vote against the Republicans.

      This is even more reason to motivate everyone to go to the polls and vote. For those of you who vote in in St.Louis County, don’t forget to write in Mike Brown for county prosecutor. Bob McCulloch is running unopposed.

  2. Two sides to a story says:

    Going Up The Country – Happy weekend, everyone!

  3. annahkonda says:

    Oh, my God! The world is coming apart at the seams.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      It feels like the world is coming to an end. We had a driveby shooting in our neighborhood on Wednesday evening (on a block my family lived on 40 years ago, just walking distance from where we are now – even sadder, in an area populated by young families between an elementary school and a middle school) and a young girl was killed while playing in her apartment complex yard.

      Equally disturbing is that the local police force doesn’t have a great reputation and has been known to execute people in the street. There was a disturbing cop killing of a suspect in 2012 that is still being protested. I don’t know what’s worse here in some areas of S. Cali – the gangbangers or the gang in blue. I hope the murder suspect is found and I PD handles this case properly.

      • Malisha says:

        And the strangest part is that the gangbangers traditionally ARISE from the socioeconomic and sociopolitical situations CAUSED by the gang in blue.

        • Two sides to a story says:

          Yes. The irony is definitely rich. Also the big annual influx of tourists as well as undocumented immigrants into this county underscores the crazy mix.

          This particular area has declined, yet at the same time, isn’t in such great decline that you would expect driveby shootings. There have been some gang problems and drug problems on that particular few blocks around the park and schools (my own son was mugged in the skate park area of the park two years ago, as the hispanic – black thing over Fogen went into high gear, but no shootings and killings like this before. : /

          I’m just a quiet country girl and not too interested in being around any of this stuff!

        • a2nite says:

          Yes, it’s the order of things that continue. The evil police don’t serve nor protect unless you’re an evil 1% er. Too bad I can’t advocate violence against the evil majority white sect.

          • Two sides to a story says:

            They did a big sweep of this area and arrested a couple of dozen people in 2012, but overall, there isn’t as much police coverage – as you say, they’re more concerned with the more upscale and tourist areas. There was a big community meeting with 300 people showing up the night after the driveby, and lots of concern was expressed about the irregular coverage by PD. That area is basically a big park with schools on either end and across the street, several blocks of apartment buildings. It should be treated as a low-tolerance, no crime zone – supposedly it is, but in practice, more money goes into policing where the money is. At any rate, PD did make two arrests last night, perhaps only because they offered such a large award that it tempted someone to name names. Hopefully there will be more arrests. I’ve noticed lots of gang tagging lately on the sidewalks of the main avenues near our home.

  4. Motor City Lady says:

    I don’t understand why the questions surrounding Wilson’s actions aren’t focused on *why* he resorted to use of deadly force while still seated in his police cruiser. This is one element of the incident that everyone agrees on.

    Wilson unholstered his gun and pointed it at Michael Brown. Dorian Johnson claims he threatened to shoot Michael Brown. Michael Brown was shot and it was only “luck” that he wasn’t killed at that moment.

    But at that point, Wilson did not know about the “strong arm robbery” at the convenience store. At best (and this is still only speculation) he had heard a description of a shoplifter come over his radio and suddenly realized Michael Brown “met the description”.

    Shoplifting is not a felony. It was only *after* Michael Brown was killed, and the surveillance video was viewed by police, that the “crime” was changed from “stealing in progress” — a misdemeanor, to “strong arm robbery” — a felony.

    This sequence of events it of utmost importance! Even if Wilson tries to invoke Missouri law, which grants him use of deadly force in certain cases, it does not apply in the Brown case unless Wilson tries to claim he was attempting to *arrest Brown for a felony*. But he could not possibly have known Michael Brown shoved the store clerk (thereby committing a “strong arm robbery.”)

    Everything that happened, happened as a result of Wilson’s drawing his weapon while still seated in his vehicle in response to…what?

    I happen to believe he unholstered his weapon either just before or while he backed his car up to confront Brown and Johnson. He tried to open his car door and exit with his weapon drawn. Instead, the car door “bounced off” Brown and hit Wilson, perhaps in his face. Because the gun was already in his right hand, he impulsively grabbed at Michael Brown, catching him by the collar of his T-shirt.

    Brown tried to pull away and Wilson, sensing the situation was getting out of his control, pointed the gun and threatened to shoot. It was at that moment Dorian Johnson himself, standing a bit away from the cruiser’s window, first saw the gun. But Brown had likely already seen it when Wilson grabbed him, because that put Brown right up against the side of the car. Brown was reacting as anyone would. He struggled and tried to either push the gun away, reflexively protecting himself by blocking the gun’s barrel, or tried to get the gun itself. He was the one in fear of his life.

    It makes no difference *why* Brown was close enough to the gun to have stipple on his thumb. It is my belief the officer used deadly force without justification.

    • bettykath says:

      Come on. Doncha’ know that jaywalking is a captial offense not worthy of an arrest and trial?

      • Motor City Lady says:

        Well, I still hold onto some hope that the grand jury can take the evidence presented — including evidence that Wilson resorted to deadly force while seated in his car — and come to a logical conclusion. It does not have to be convinced that Wilson is guilty of murder. It only has to be convinced that his actions amount to “probable cause” that he committed a serious felony.

      • bettykath says:

        “capital”

    • MDX says:

      A great article by a police officer that, I think, addresses issue of the gun:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/24/1338589/–He-went-for-his-Gun

      Key paragraphs:

      “Let’s take the first scenario, Wilson makes contact with suspect and after some words were exchanged Brown then reaches in the car and “goes for his gun”. If you want to understand how difficult it is to get a gun out of the holster while you are in a patrol car here is an experiment you can try. Put on a pair of regular fitting jeans and then put your smart phone in your front pocket. Next go sit in your car. Now try and get that phone out of your pocket from that seated position. Speed that entire process up about 400%. If you really want to make the experiment interesting, have a friend stand outside of your car door and try to take that phone out of your pocket while you are sitting there resisting them. Not an exact science but I’m sure you’ll get the point. Imagine that same experiment wearing a bullet proof vest, 25 pounds of equipment and a real gun in a triple retention holster. That is exactly why you NEVER engage a suspect while sitting in the vehicle like Wilson did. Never.

      Admittedly I’m not a forensic pathologist, but I have worked my share of crime scenes. So when I read the article quoting a forensic pathologist stating that the wounds on Micheal Brown’s hand and the forensic evidence found in the vehicle proved to her that Brown “was obviously going for his gun” I was surprised. I’m sure that Judy Melinek is a very accomplished forensic pathologist but she got way out there with this one. The certainty of her conclusion makes me wonder if she was misquoted or if her quote was not put into context.

      Anybody that has investigated (or been involved in) any fight involving a weapon knows that when you are faced with a potentially deadly weapon like a knife or a gun you will almost always do 2 things: try and get as small as you can and put your hand up. It seems strange to people who haven’t experienced this but it has been a reality in my years on the street. In situations like this a persons instincts take over and it just happens. I don’t have specific data but in my experience I always found a large percentage of gunshot victims with entry wounds to the side of their body as opposed to center mass. Why? Because if you are aware that you are about to be mortally wounded most people will instinctively blade their body to the side and present the smallest target possible for the aggressor. You will also likely put your hand or arm up in a futile attempt to stop the bullet. I’ve seen it many many times. Shots in the hand where the bullet travels down the arm and into the body. Shots under the arm (almost always fatal) with small entry wounds no exit wound and very little external bleeding. So contrary to any conclusions the media has reached Brown could have had a very typical reaction to his impending death…”

      End of quotes.

      My comment:

      I suggest that all of this mans articles be read. He keeps it real.

      • Motor City Lady says:

        MDX, yes, that’s an excellent article. For me, this was the key summary because all that happened in Ferguson, Missouri followed directly from Officer Wilson’s decision to draw his weapon while still in his car:

        “If you look at this incident in context you actually have 2 separate significant events. Those 2 events represent 2 distinct chain of events where Wilson had a choice to make.

        The first event is what happened that led to Wilson believing that he should shoot Brown at or in the patrol vehicle. The details of those circumstances are very suspicious to me. Even if you consider what the media is reporting to be supportive evidence of the officers side of the events and that evidence turns out to be 100% accurate I don’t believe that Wilson was justified in shooting Brown in the first place.”

      • Motor City Lady says:

        The author’s vivid description of how difficult it is to unholster a service weapon while seated in a car tends to support my belief that Officer Wilson had already taken his gun out of the holster before he tried to open his car door.

        We saw, in the Kajeimi Powell video, the police officer who drove the car exit with his gun already drawn, raised and pointed at Powell. I think that’s what Wilson intended to do, too.

        • Motor City Lady says:

          Watch closely at 2:35. The officer emerges from behind the wheel of the SUV with his gun raised and pointed at Powell. He was ready to use deadly force before he even had his first verbal contact.

          • Bill Taylor says:

            that is clearly their training and supported by the chief, use ANY excuse to shoot and shoot until they STOP MOVING.

          • Two sides to a story says:

            These people are incredibly sick.

          • MDX says:

            This act violates the UN principles. I cite from the linked AI report:

            “Officers may use firearms as a last resort –
            when strictly necessary to protect themselves or others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.
            The intentional lethal use of firearms is justified only when “strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”3
            Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has explained that:
            “The ’protect life’ principle demands that lethal force may not be used intentionally merely to protect law and
            order or to serve other similar interests (for example, it may not be used only to disperse protests, to arrest a
            suspected criminal, or to safeguard other interests such as property). The primary aim must be to save life. In
            practice, this means that only the protection of life can meet the proportionality requirement where lethal force
            is used intentionally, and the protection of life can be the only legitimate objective for the use of such force. A
            fleeing thief who poses no immediate danger may not be killed, even if it means that the thief will escape.”4
            Amnesty International…

          • racerrodig says:

            Here’s a major problem I have with this. There are how many other people standing around, and Powell, clearly disturbed, which is not how he chose to be, and none of the bystanders appear to be in danger. Not one person there is whacked out in a panic screaming about a mad man…….not one !!!

            What the hell happened to

            “…..we’re just trying to help you…..take it easy……look…..I’m putting my gun away, (as the other officer slowly sneaks off to the side)…..look, my gun is in the holster………..let’s talk some my man. Look…..sit down, get your breath and lets just shot the shit……I really don’t want to hurt you. (officer B is now behind Powell and yanks the knife from his hand and takes him down, cuffs him and nobody really get hurt)…….okay everybody, move along….oh, wait, does anybody know who he is ?? Can anybody tell me where he lives…….”

            Now, my dad being a cop for over 25 years, was in a few situations similar to this and not 1 cop even pulled his gun out. That act alone escalates the situation. Most people with a mental issue go right past “Stop” to …..”……go ahead….shoot me……I got nothin’ left anyway……go ahead…..”

            But then again, this would require restraint, actual interest in the community, you know, the people a cop SWEARS to protect, along with what I personally like to refer to as “Common Sense”

        • MDX says:

          I think you are correct and, in light of that article about how hard it is to un-holster a gun while seated, I feel the premise that Brown could try to reach around and get it, is absurd.

          More plausible is that Wilson, after he “imagined” that either Brown or Johnson said something – Johnson stated that Wilson, after he violently backed up, made the remark “what did you say?” – probably un-holstered the gun before he backed up.

          And that makes Johnson’s story much more believable for a rather obvious reason – it is “safe” to confront and grab one of two suspects by the throat, if your gun is ready to fire.

          But noooooooooo….. the media will not ever give Johnson’s story any credence.

          And why is that?

          Could it be…..

      • Two sides to a story says:

        PS – This article is super important. Spread it far and wide.

      • Thanks for providing that article and link.

        Real and informative destruction of Wilson’s ridiculous story.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      I can only hope the Grand Jury has more sense than the corrupt officials involved in this case, but many, many people are pro-cop and until they’ve had their own little nightmare, they seem to think that cops are always trustworthy.

      I was absolutely astounded when the Orange County, Cali jury let the cop killers of Kelly Thomas walk. And that’s the probable scenario for Darren Wilson even if he is indicted. Prosecutors will pick a pro-cop jury and then present a lukewarm case in order to set him free.

      By keeping evidence in the case concealed and selectively releasing it with innuendo that it matches Wilson’s story, the case is being tried in the court of public opinion and twisted beyond all recognition. It’s Zimmerman all over again. Sorry to be so gloomy!

      • MDX says:

        It is eerily Zimmerman.

        The cop in the article I cited clearly establishes that it is nigh on impossible to reach for a secured gun of an officer sitting in an SUV.

        As it was nigh on impossible for Trayvon Martin to see, let alone, reach the gun that was behind all that Zimmerlard.

      • a2nite says:

        This is worse because evil killing LE is given the benefit of the doubt.

        • Two sides to a story says:

          Both are pretty bad – giving citizens carte blanche to kill for little provocation isn’t far behind abuse by LEOs.

    • Mike says:

      IMO I’m under the impression that mike brown didn’t steal the cigar. But didn’t show his I’d to the clerk when asked too do so, the clerk not wanting to get in trouble for selling to a minor. Tries to stop mike brown,not for stealing the cigars but to give him his money back as shown in one of llmpapas videos.i may be wrong but that’s my best guess considering that the clerk didn’t call the authoritys.

      • MDX says:

        I worked in a store in a neighborhhod similar to that and think that a conflict over ID is plausible. One point missed by those who claim this video proves that Brown was violent because he shoves the guy is the fact that the guy put his hands on Brown before the shove.

        Touching a customer was a big, big no no because it was deemed rude and out of line.

        Hey, I don’t like being touched by a stranger, and probably would have shoved that guys arm back. You got a problem, then state it at a distance.

  5. disappointed says:

    I have not read the entire report yet. The few pages i did read i honestly think it’s a miracle that no protesters lost their life. The tax payors of Missouri should be demanding that all law enforcement wear name tags. If they choose not to suspend them without pay, PERIOD!!!

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