UN calls for end of ‘impunity’ for police violence against black people

French Riot Policesource: The Guardian
published: 28 June 2021

A UN report that analysed racial justice in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd has called on member states including the UK to end the “impunity” enjoyed by police officers who violate the human rights of black people.

The UN human rights office analysis of 190 deaths across the world led to the report’s damning conclusion that law enforcement officers are rarely held accountable for killing black people due in part to deficient investigations and an unwillingness to acknowledge the impact of structural racism.

The 23-page global report, and its accompanying 95-page conference room paper, features seven examples of deaths involving police, including the case of Kevin Clarke, who died after being restrained by officers in London in 2018.

A jury at Clarke’s inquest, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2002, found the police’s inappropriate use of restraints contributed to his death.

Other case studies include Luana Barbosa dos Reis Santos and João Pedro Matos Pinto in Brazil; George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the US; Janner García Palomino in Colombia; and Adama Traoré in France.

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The UK charity INQUEST said;

“The office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) have today published a damning report (attached) calling for immediate, transformative action to uproot systemic racism in the UK and internationally.

“The report examines the deaths of Black people (or in their language, people of African descent) at the hands of police around the world. It was informed by the testimony and experiences of bereaved families internationally, including the family of George Floyd. In the UK, the family of Kevin Clarke took part in the consultation process, along with Marcia Rigg, the sister of Sean Rigg.

“INQUEST gave written evidence to the report and worked closely with the team behind it. We made an effort to reflect the broad concerns of the families we’ve worked with, and try to ensure these concerns were raised at an international level. We think the report is incredibly strong.”

See INQUEST’s evidence and background >

You can see a short summary of the report here >