Riot police block off a ramp to a highway during a demonstration against police brutality in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 22, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
police killings of African Americans are redolent of the past “racial terror lynching” in the country, says a report by a UN working group.
The report, which will be debated at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, draws a comparison between modern police tactics and killings of African Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” said the report by the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
Almost 3,960 black people were killed in “racial terror lynching” in several southern states between 1877 and 1950, the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization, said in its report in 2015.
According to the new report, the UN is “extremely concerned” about the human rights situation of African-Americans in the US.
“The legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States
remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report said.
“Impunity for State violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” it added.
Officers involved in fatal shootings of black people go unpunished since initial investigations tend to be conducted by the police department where the perpetrators work, since prosecutors have considerable discretion over presenting charges, and since the use of force is not subject to international standards, the report said.
It also called on the US government to do far more to protect people of color through creating a reliable national system to track killings and excessive use of force by police.
The US government must end racial profiling, which is “a rampant practice and seriously damages the trust between African Americans and law enforcement officials,” it stated.
The report, which was based on a visit by a five-member group to the US in January, comes amid ongoing protests over police killing of an African American.
Demonstrators march during protests over US police brutality on September 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by AFP)
Keith Lamont Scott was killed by police on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 43-year-old’s family says he was unarmed when shot.
The death outraged Black Lives Matter activists, leading to protests and clashes there.
His wife released a video of the incident, which shows her pleas to the police not to shoot him.
The shooting happened at a time when anti-police sentiment is already high across the US due to a surge of unjustified killings of unarmed African Americans over the past few months.