On August 29, a UN panel on racism urged the United States to “review” its stand your ground-styled self-defense laws and demanded it put a halt to the excessive use of force by police.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) claimed that racial minorities are victims of oppression by authorities and apparently targeted by whites with the self-defense laws.
“Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing,” Algerian Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, said in a press conference after the meeting.
Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer after the teen was seen robbing a nearby convenience store, was used as an example of the excessive use of force by police.
“The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown,” Amir said.
Amir went on, “This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials.”
The UN panel met to decry what it considers violations of a UN treaty against racism that the US signed onto called the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
“The Committee remains concerned at the practice of racial profiling of racial or ethnic minorities by law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Transportation Security Administration, border enforcement officials and local police,” the committee report said.
Panel members also urged the US to reconsider the stand your ground laws in 22 states, arguing the laws are means of discrimination against minorities.
The UN says the laws should be rewritten to “remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to principles of necessity and proportionality when deadly force is used for self-defense.”
As this UN committee criticizes the United States, two of the biggest human rights abusers in the world, China and Pakistan, are also signatories of the treaty and are represented as members on the committee.
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