UN calls for end to police brutality in US after Ferguson shooting

 

The United Nations's racism watchdog on Friday urged the U.S. to end police brutality after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer sparked protests in Ferguson, Mo.

Minorities, particularly African-Americans, have been disproportionate victims of racial disparities and police brutality, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concluded after examining the U.S. record.

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“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,” Noureddine Amir, vice chairman of the UN committee, said at a news briefing Friday, according to Reuters.

“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,” Amir added.

Teenager Michael Brown was killed on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer, who has since been put on paid leave and is in hiding. The circumstances of the killing are under investigation.

The panel came to its conclusions on U.S. police practices after reviewing information from the incident and interviewing a United States delegation Aug. 13 about racial discrimination, especially in the justice system, Reuters reported.

The committee also called for a review of the “stand your ground” laws in 22 states that give self-defense cover to individuals who harm others because they felt threatened.

The review ought to “remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to principles of necessity and proportionality when deadly force is used for self-defense,” the panel concluded.