Its Systemic Problem: UN on US Police Brutality of Black People

its systemic problem un on us police brutality of black people

its systemic problem un on us police brutality of black people

UN human rights experts want the US to combat systemic racism and racial discrimination against Black people, mainly of African descent in the country’s justice system. Racism in the United States goes back to the era of slavery and transatlantic slave trade from the 1502 to 1860s when African men, women and children were captured and shipped off to the Americas. 

In a new report, the UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement highlighted that Black people in the US are three times more likely to be killed by police than whites, and 4.5 times more likely to be incarcerated. 

Tracie Keesee, a UN independent expert, expressed alarm at the figures and circumstances in which people of African descent are killed by police in disproportionate numbers. She described it as a systemic problem. 

The expert said they heard that police officers’ mental health was being affected by work overload, racism, and racial discrimination inside police departments. “Expecting law enforcement officers to respect and protect human rights also presupposes a culture of respect and wellbeing within the ranks.” 

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Black Individuals Killed by Law Enforcement

According to the report, more than 1,000 individuals are reportedly killed by law enforcement, every year, throughout the US. Data shows that Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people. 

Moreover, investigators said African American women prisoners represent 34 percent of all incarcerated women and were more likely to be restrained and shackled than their white counterparts. They heard testimonies and inhumane details about Black pregnant women being shackled during labor. Some lost their babies because of the chaining. 

The UN expressed shock about the large number of incarcerated children. Many have been held in adult prisons. The report revealed that Black children are more than four times as likely to be detained or committed in juvenile facilities as their white peers. Many children were sentenced to life imprisonment. 

US Acknowledges Racism Exists

Michele Taylor, the US ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, acknowledged that systemic racism against Black people, particularly those of African descent, in US’s law enforcement and the criminal justice systems. She said the United States is committed to advancing racial justice and equity. 

The diplomat pointed out that the Biden administration was undertaking several initiatives to address the impact of systemic racism through safe, effective and accountable community policing, including improvements to the criminal justice system.

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