UN Official Criticizes US On Ferguson
A United Nations official criticized the U.S. justice system’s treatment of African Americans after a Ferguson grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein blasted the U.S. for the number of young African Americans killed by police officers and the incarceration rate for African Americans. He also suggested Americans’ Second amendment rights led to police killings.
“It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,” Zeid said in a statement.
Zeid also pointed the recent case of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy fatally shot by police in Cleveland, Ohio while carrying a BB gun.
“In many countries, where real guns are not so easily available, police tend to view boys playing with replica guns as precisely what they are, rather than as a danger to be neutralized,” Zeid said.
Michael Brown’s parents addressed the Committee against Torture earlier this month. Zeid stressed the importance of law enforcement complying with International law when using their weapon.
The United Nations has repeatedly brought up the issue of discrimination in the justice system. Racial profiling, gun-related deaths and injuries that disproportionately affect minorities, and police brutality have been major themes.
“I urge the US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels,” Zeid said.
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