A police officer holds a baseball bat taken from a detained protester, during a demonstration following the grand jury decision on Monday in the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California, November 26, 2014. (Reuters/Stephen Lam)
A UN report has condemned the United States for violating the terms of an international anti-torture treaty. The panel took Washington to task for police brutality, military interrogations, and capital punishment protocols.
“The Committee is concerned about numerous reports of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials,” the paperreleased by the UN Committee Against Torture says, adding that in particular this brutality is seen against persons belonging “to certain racial and ethnic groups, immigrants and LGBTI individuals.”
The document was released on Friday, just days after the contentious decision of a Missouri grand jury not to indict a white officer accused of shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. The decision triggered a wave of protests nationwide.
Although the report didn’t specifically mention the events in Ferguson, Mike Brown’s parents met with the committee to discuss their son’s case in Geneva earlier this month.
The UN watchdog expressed “deep concern at the frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuits of unarmed black individuals.”
The 10-person panel, which periodically reviews the records of the 156 countries which ratified the Convention Against Torture – a non-binding international human rights treaty – cited mounting concerns over “racial profiling by police and immigration offices, and growing militarization of policing activities.”
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