The BBC reports that some UN boffins have expressed worries about this pattern we seem to be developing in the US of failing to indict cops who kill unarmed people.
“I am concerned by the grand juries’ decisions and the apparent conflicting evidence that exists relating to both incidents,” UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsak, said in a statement.
A trial process would ensure the evidence is considered in detail, she said.
“The decisions leave many with legitimate concerns relating to a pattern of impunity when the victims of excessive use of force come from African-American or other minority communities.”
They do, yes. The Eric Garner case, especially, is horrifying. He wasn’t rushing at anyone, he was suspected of the pettiest sort of “crime” one can imagine short of maybe a parking ticket, and he was tackled and choked as if he’d just murdered someone in front of the cops.
Elsewhere in the US several other racially sensitive cases appeared this week:
- in Phoenix, Arizona, protesters demonstrated after a white police officer shot dead a black suspected drug-trafficker, after apparently mistaking a pill bottle in his pocket for a gun on Tuesday
- in South Carolina, white ex-police chief Richards Combs was charged with murder over the 2011 shooting of an unarmed black man, Bernard Bailey
- The justice department and the city of Cleveland, Ohio, agreed to overhaul city police after federal investigators found frequent use of excessive force caused deep mistrust, especially among black people.
But hey – there’s even worse racism in, say, Saudi Arabia, so maybe we should all focus on that instead?
I don’t think so. That too, but not that instead.