Tom Keough, a NYC World Can’t Wait supporter, continues to follow the United Nations’ position on genocide in this country. Here is his latest piece.
On June 28, 2021, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, published the Commission’s report on their one year investigation of the racism and human rights violations by police forces in the United States and some other countries.
The UN emphasized the human rights violations such as the killings and pointed out that the methods to try to change this, which the U.S. federal, state and local governments permit, do not work to diminish the violent deadly problems. The methods that the U.S. allows to address the killings one by one or as a group do not and will not make any significant changes. People have tried to take officers to trial and rarely got a trial. The courts almost always dismiss a case against a police officer. When a trial does occur, it is often delayed many years – sometimes over a decade. Even on the rare occasions of a guilty verdict, often no punishment is given or a meaningless “punishment” such as suspended with full pay ( aka a vacation for killing someone) . NYC used to transfer officers to a new precinct after being caught selling drugs. Lawsuits have been tried but are often dismissed. Officers are usually given immunity for any crime on the job or off-duty. Families have tried meeting with elected officials and gotten nothing. Electing new politicians, protest rallies and marches, news media reports, op-ed pieces, books – even books written by former officers – have all resulted in no decrease in the killings and police brutality.
The UN has stated that the current system of policing and the courts are officially labeled as crimes against humanity. The UN has officially asked the International Criminal Court to begin investigations of police officials who are in charge of the incidences. According to the UN, crimes include murder, severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution of people of African descent and inhumane acts causing severe suffering physically and mentally.
This is a more complete description of the UN’s report by Marjorie Cohn, a member of the board of the International Associations of Democratic Lawyers, professor emeritus at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and on the board of Veterans For Peace. She was one of the four rapporteurs who helped draft the report.
This second article, also by Marjorie Cohn, has more information about the report, including its call for reparatory justice.