Rights group asks US to end discriminatory policing

The US government should take action to stop discriminatory policing across the country, rights group Amnesty International said in a report on Friday that documented abuses during the Ferguson protests.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 24, 2014, 23:18 PM IST

Washington: The US government should take action to stop discriminatory policing across the country, rights group Amnesty International said in a report on Friday that documented abuses during the Ferguson protests.

The racially charged killing of 18-year-old black youth Michael Brown reflected "systemic racial discrimination" which the government should do more to eradicate, Amnesty said.

"The shooting of Michael Brown highlighted on a national level the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers across the United States," the report said.

The US Department of Justice should ensure that there is compliance with international human rights obligations and international policing standards, the report said.

Brown was shot to death two months ago by white policeman Darren Wilson in the town near St. Louis.

Accounts of the shooting of the unarmed teenager differ and a federal investigation is ongoing.

His death sparked protests that highlighted aggressive police tactics in America and tensions between law enforcement and African American communities.

In the report, Amnesty International asks the government to probe rights violations during the protests and says "all those found responsible, including commanding officers, must be brought to account."

The report drew from accounts of a team of observers that monitored the rallies in Ferguson in August as well as media reports.

It records a long list of possible human rights abuses carried out by Missouri police.

Alleged abuses include the shooting of peaceful protesters and reporters with rubber bullets, stopping protesters from assembling and the use of riot gear to disperse protesters.

"Toxic chemical irritants, such as tear gas, should not be fired directly at an individual," the report noted.

Amnesty International called for Missouri to review its possibly "unconstitutional" use of lethal force statute. And for the Justice Department to begin reporting on police use of force nationally.

The rights group also called for Congress to stop the militarization of the country`s police forces and generally bring policing in line with international norms.