Friday, August 28, 2015

OAS investigation into U.S. police abuses to include Miami

A delegate with the human-rights arm of the Organization of American States is traveling to Miami next month on a fact-finding mission into police abuses of African Americans in the United States.

The Magic City will be the first stop for Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, a commissioner of the semi-autonomous Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She plans to speak with police officials and Mayor Tomás Regalado on Sept. 21 before continuing on a five-day U.S. tour. Other stops may include Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a former police officer sparked racial tensions; New Orleans, and possibly Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin was killed, according to correspondence with the State Department.

Attempts Wednesday to reach Belle and a second commission official involved in the planning of the trip were unsuccessful. Presumably, their interest in Miami is tied to a string of fatal shootings of black men in 2010 and 2011 that led Regalado to invite the Justice Department to investigate. Justice found the city’s police department had engaged in a pattern of excessive force when it came to pulling the trigger, and issued a series of recommendations in July of 2013 that have yet to result in a settlement.

“The main findings of this visit will be included in a report issued by the Commission analyzing the use of police force against African-Americans in the United States and its human rights implication,” Emilio Alvarez Icaza, executive director of the commission, wrote this month in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. More:  

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