International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Amnesty International USA Calls for Civillian Board to Oversee St. Louis Police

In a recent press release from Amnesty International, the USA contingent of the organization called for the approval of a Civilian Board to oversee St. Louis Police. The Board would look into and evaluate police shootings and police practices in general. The civilian review board was suggested in the wake of the Michael Brown killing by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. In the end the grand jury did not indict Wilson amidst an explosion of controversy and racial tensions in the area. Since the trial, Alderman Terry Kennedy filed a Bill calling for a police civilian oversight board. Steven Hawkins, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, has recently stepped up and said that a recent Department of Justice investigation report on the matter has showed, “the Ferguson police force was more concerned about generating revenue through unfair fines and tickets than they were with protecting the lives of the people they were sworn to serve. This legislation would be an important step in ensuring appropriate systems of oversight.” If the Board were approved, it could have the ability to look into allegations of police misconduct and make recommendations to the city’s public safety director.

This issue continues to make headlines, making it apparent it is not leaving the public’s conscious anytime soon. It particularly strikes home with me, for my hometown is Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has one of the highest rates in the country of fatal shootings by police. As of yet no officer has been indicted even with the recent controversial footage of an APD police officer shooting a mentally ill homeless man in the back. The footage went viral and sparked widespread protests around the state. As we discuss justice around the world, it is important to remain conscious of the issues that pervade our own home town justice systems. Police are a crucial component of peace and justice, and we must work to hold them equally accountable for their actions.

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