GENEVA, May 12 – The United States acknowledged before the UN Monday that it has not done enough to uphold civil rights laws, following a string of recent killings of unarmed black men by police.
Speaking before the United Nations Human Rights Council, a US representative stressed the advances his country had made in establishing a range of civil rights laws since segregation ended more than half a century ago.
But a number of recent cases of police brutality against African Americans shows “we must rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our civil rights laws live up to their promise,” said James Cadogan, a senior counselor in the justice department’s civil rights division.
“The tragic deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio, and Walter Scott in South Carolina have… challenged us to do better and to work harder for progress,” he said.
The United States was undergoing a so-called Universal Periodic Review of its rights record — which all 193 UN countries must submit to every four years.
The US delegation, headed by US ambassador to the council Keith Harper and acting US legal advisor Mary McLeod, faced a barrage of questions about police tactics and brutality as well as the disproportionate impact on minorities.
– ‘Broken justice system’ –
Namibia representative Gladice Pickering urged Washington to “fix the broken justice system that continues to discriminate … despite recent waves of protest over racial profiling and police killings of unarmed black men.”
Black men are not the only victims.