UN officials call on US to end racial discrimination within its justice system
UN officials call on US to end racial discrimination within its justice system

[JURIST] The United Nations Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human Rights [advocacy website] (OHCHR) reported their concerns on Friday over the outcome of both the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsak, said “I am concerned by the grand juries’ decisions and the apparent conflicting evidence that exists relating to both incidents.” The OHCHR has expressed that the trial process would have ensured a fair decision in both cases, and the lack of grand jury indictment gave the appearance of impunity. The OHCHR has pointed out that racial profiling in the US impacts the African Americans [statement] the most, with African Americans ten times more likely to be pulled over by police officers for minor traffic stops than caucasians. The committee also pointed out the stark economic disparities and the fact that African American community has double the unemployment rate of the white community. They have urged US officials to not only abide by President Obama’s new policies but end racial profiling by police officers completely and find methods to cure the economic disparity. However, they committee urged individuals to take advantage of their right to protest in a peaceful law abiding way and to end any violence.

The OHCHR report continues the national dialogue about these cases. On Friday the Obama administration [official website] announced [JURIST report] the coming of new rules intended to decrease racial profiling. Last month the UN Committee Against Torture [official website] urged [JURIST report] the US to open investigations into all cases of police brutality and excessive use of force by police officers. Also last month the Utah Attorney General’s Office [official website] reached a settlement [JURIST report] with the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] over a controversial immigration law, striking several provisions of the law that many advocacy groups argued perpetuated racial profiling.