Call to ban US racial profiling by police

United Nations human rights experts have called for a halt to racial profiling by US law enforcement officers and a review of laws allowing police to use lethal force.

Call to ban US racial profiling by police

The independent experts regretted that grand juries in the United States had failed to indict police officers for killing two unarmed black men in separate incidents that have led to mass protests across the country.

Sending to trial the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York would have brought all evidence to light and allowed justice to take its course, they said in a statement.

“I am concerned by the grand juries’ decisions and the apparent conflicting evidence that exists relating to both incidents,” said Rita Izsak, UN special rapporteur on minority issues.

“The decisions leave many with legitimate concerns relating to a pattern of impunity when the victims of excessive use of force come from African-American or other minority communities”.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has mounted a civil rights review of the Missouri shooting and promised an investigation of the New York case.

Mutuma Ruteere, a Kenyan serving as UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, called for action in the face of what he called evidence of discriminatory practices, including racial profiling by police officers.

“Such practices must be eradicated,” he said.

International law allows the use of lethal force only where necessary to protect life, said Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

New York prepared for the the funeral of a man apparently inadvertently shot by a policeman in a dark stairwell, after further protests over a grand jury decision not to indict another officer for the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

The city has seen two nights of largely peaceful demonstrations after no charges were brought against police officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in a confrontation that killed Eric Garner, a father of six. A bystander recorded the incident on video.

The reaction to 43-year-old Garner’s death echoes the outrage that followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict another white policeman for killing an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Rev Al Sharpton, a longtime civil rights leader, was expected to speak last night at the Brooklyn funeral of Akai Gurley, 28, who was killed last month in the dimly lit stairwell of a housing project in the borough by a rookie police officer who said his gun discharged accidentally.

Meanwhile, a Phoenix police officer shot to death an unarmed black man during a struggle and authorities said the officer believed the individual had a gun. Some 200 demonstrators protested against the killing of Rumain Brisbon, marching to Phoenix police headquarters,

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox