U.N. Report — Police Killings in U.S. are “Reminiscent of Lynching”
Article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.
On Friday, a United Nations expert working group released a scathing report that will be debated at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday. The report noted that police killings of black people in the United States are reminiscent of lynchings and the government must step up to protect them.
The hard-hitting criticism – drawing a comparison between modern police behavior and mob killings of blacks in the 19th and 20th centuries – comes at a time of renewed racial tension in the United States, according to Reuters.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” said the report by the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
According to Reuters, the U.N. expert report was based on a visit to the United States in January by a five-member group chaired by Filipino law professor Ricardo A. Sunga III.
According to the report, the group is particularly worried about the human rights situations of African-Americans as they are killed at a higher rate than whites.
“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent.
“Impunity for State violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
As the Free Thought Project has pointed out time and again, the lack of punishment police receive for brutality and killing seemingly encourages this violent and irresponsible behavior.
Police killings go unpunished because initial investigations are usually conducted by the police department where the alleged perpetrator works, because prosecutors have wide discretion over presenting charges, and because the use of force is not subject to international standards, the experts’ group said, according to Reuters.
Since the first of the year, 849 people have been sent to an early grave by police in America and this epidemic shows no signs of slowing. Many of these 849 people were unarmed or entirely innocent.
For the last 15 years, America has fallen across the board in indices rating the world’s countries by levels of freedom.
Americans are under constant surveillance, our every move under a microscope by government goons, “protecting us” from “terrorists.” We are under the constant threat of violence from the state for possessing a plant, or having a tail light out, or simply walking down the street.
Americans are constantly paranoid of those blue and red lights popping up in the rearview mirror that most always end in extortion and could very well end with a visit to the hospital, being locked in a cage, or worse.
In the Land of the Free, police killed more people in just one month of this year than the United Kingdom has in the entire 20th century.
In the Land of the Free, police kill at more than 70 times the rate of other first world nations.
In the Land of the Free, we are told to “fear the terrorists” but US police kill 58 times more people than all terrorist activity against US civilians since 9-11!
The U.N. group recommends a number of actions to take to correct this problem, including bringing an end to racial profiling, which is “a rampant practice and seriously damages the trust between African-Americans and law enforcement officials.”
To improve race relations, education should be “accompanied by acts of reconciliation” to overcome bigotry and past injustices, while federal and state laws should recognise the negative impact of enslavement and racial injustice, the report added, according to Reuters.
While these recommendations are definitely a step in the right direction, the U.N. report fails to mention the role played by the state’s immoral war on drugs.
America has the largest prison population in the world. It is estimated that victimless crime constitutes 86% of the federal prison population. That means the only reason that these individuals are incarcerated is because the state deemed their non-violent personal choices, “illegal.” The majority of that 86% is for illegal drugs only.
Most of the people who are thrown in prison are non-violent. However, when they are locked in cages with society’s worst and treated like cattle in a factory farm, they come out forever changed. America is breeding a torturous and violent environment, and they have the audacity to call this the “justice system.”
As former Congressman Ron Paul pointed out on national television on Jan 16, 2012 — the drug war targets African-Americans;
[Black peope] are tried and imprisoned disproportionately. They suffer the consequence of the death penalty disproportionately. Rich white people don’t get the death penalty very often. And most of these are victimless crimes. Sometimes people can use drugs and get arrested three times and never committed a violent act and they can go to prison for life. I think there’s discrimination in the system, but you have to address the drug war. I would say the judicial system is probably one of the worst places where prejudice and discrimination still exists in this country.
If you honestly believe that black lives matter and want to end the racial disparity in the United States — it is your duty to call for an end to the drug war — and bring an end to modern-day lynching.
When the government makes certain substances illegal, it does not remove the demand. Instead, the state creates crime by pushing the sale and control of these substances into the illegal black markets. All the while, demand remains constant.
We can look at the prohibition of alcohol and the subsequent mafia crime wave that ensued as a result as an example. The year 1930, at the peak of prohibition, happened to be the deadliest year for police in American history. 300 police officers were killed, and innumerable poor people slaughtered as the state cracked down on drinkers.
Outlawing substances does not work.
Criminal gangs form to protect sales territory and supply lines. They then monopolize the control of the constant demand. Their entire operation is dependent upon police arresting people for drugs because this grants them a monopoly on their sale.
However, the illegality of drug possession and use is what keeps the low-level users and dealers in and out of the court systems, and most of these people are poor black men. As Dr. Paul pointed out, black people are more likely to receive a harsher punishment for the same drug crime as a white person.
This revolving door of creating and processing criminals fosters the phenomenon known as Recidivism. Recidivism is a fundamental concept of criminal justice that shows the tendency of those who are processed into the system and the likelihood of future criminal behavior.
The War on Drugs takes good people and turns them into criminals every single minute of every single day. The system is setup in such a way that it fans the flames of violent crime by essentially building a factory that turns out violent criminals.
The system knows this too!
When drugs are legalized, gang violence drops — drastically. Not only does it have a huge effect on the localized gangs in America, but the legalization of drugs is crippling to the violent foreign drug cartels too.
Until Americans educate themselves on the cause of this violence, uninformed and corrupt lawmakers will continue to focus on controlling the symptoms.
We will see more senseless killings and more innocent lives stripped of opportunity by getting entangled in the system.