UN experts said on Thursday they had found “systemic racism” against the black community in America’s police and justice systems, underscoring the need for urgent reform.
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For twelve days in April and May, the team of the United Nations Independent Expert Mechanism for Promoting Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Policing, established after the death of African-American George Floyd in 2020, met with victims and representatives of civil society Society, judiciary, police unions, federal and local officials in Washington, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York.
Their report, sent to the media on Thursday, highlights the “systemic and entrenched racism” against the black community in the United States and claims that this “legacy of slavery (…) is present in the armed forces of the United States spreads”. Order and Justice”.
“We have heard dozens of heartbreaking testimonies about how victims are not receiving justice or reparations,” one of the experts, Tracie Keesee, said in a statement.
“This is a systemic problem that requires a systemic response. “All relevant actors, including police services and police unions, must join forces to counter the prevailing impunity,” she said.
The expert group was established by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2021, about a year after the death of African-American George Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, to investigate allegations of racism motivated police violence across the globe World.
According to their report, studies have shown that African Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than the white population and 4.5 times more likely to be incarcerated.
“There is strong evidence that the abusive behavior of certain police officers is part of a larger pattern,” observed investigator Juan Mendez.
“The attitudes of America’s police and criminal justice system reflect the attitudes of American society,” he said, emphasizing the “urgent need for comprehensive reform.”
In this context, the report makes 30 recommendations to the American government and the 18,000 police departments in the United States.
In particular, the expert group calls for armed police officers to no longer automatically be dispatched first to the scene in crisis situations, particularly in the areas of mental health, homelessness, traffic and schools.