BY: ARIANA TRIGGS, BNC Digital Journalist JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press
The Stono Institute for Freedom, Justice and Security, an African-American led human rights organization, announced Tuesday that the organization filed a claim against the Government of the United States in the United Nations for deadly police violence and violent white extremist vigilantism.
According to a statement from SIFJS, the claim was submitted on Sunday, June 14th, to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for which the United States is a state party with the backing of over 100,000 supporters.
“The United States Government has demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to honor its treaty obligations to stop systemic anti-Black deadly police violence by safeguarding the life and liberty of African-Americans. Black Lives Matter is not a hollow slogan, it is a global human rights movement!”, Dr. Jeremy Levitt, president of the Stono Institute for Freedom, Justice and Security, human rights lawyer and law professor, said.
SIFJS said they filed the complaint on behalf of African-Americans and certain families whose sons were summarily executed by law enforcement agencies, because they are being targeted and systemically killed, brutally beaten, threatened and abused by state violence; deadly police violence and violent white extremist vigilantism daily, as African-Americans and the families of the victims of deadly police violence have sought criminal justice to no avail by filing internal affairs complaints with police agencies, urging local prosecutors to prosecute cases, seeking recourse in civil courts, protesting in the streets, and appealing to public authorities to make policy changes to curb deadly police violence and violent white extremist vigilantism with virtually no success.
This comes as African nations prepared a draft resolution calling for a commission of inquiry, singling out the United States to look into “systemic racism” and alleged violations of international human rights law and abuses against “Africans and of people of African descent in the United States of America and other parts of the world recently affected by law enforcement agencies”, especially encounters that resulted in deaths, the Associated Press reports.
According to the draft text, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, such work would be carried out “with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice,” the text states.The proposed commission of inquiry would “examine the federal, state and local government responses to peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists.”
One Western diplomat who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said European Union countries had received the text and were discussing it in their capitals.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 47-member body two years ago, accusing it of an anti-Israel bias and of accepting members from some countries with autocratic governments that are serial rights violators.
The council agreed unanimously Monday to hold an urgent debate Wednesday afternoon on “racially-inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests” in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others in the United States.