This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 27, 2014:
PEN America is using the alleged use of excessive force by the police in restraining crowds and journalists trying to cover the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, last August to call for federal guidelines to be applied to every local police force in the country.
The group — part of the PEN American Center, whose motto is “Protecting Free Expression” — published its summary of 52 instances of Ferguson police allegedly overreacting to real and perceived threats to public safety in the aftermath of the shooting of Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Calling them “alleged” violations, PEN America said on Monday that they “contravene a right that is protected under the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law.”
PEN American Center “calls upon the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out investigations into violations of press freedom … [and] to ensure that … the rights of members of the press and of the public at large are upheld.”
PEN America concluded that: