US Police Killings Of Black Americans Are ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, Inquiry Finds

by : Hannah Smith on : 27 Apr 2021 16:08
US Police Killings Of Black Americans Are 'Crimes Against Humanity', Inquiry FindsGeorge Floyd/Breonna Taylor/Facebook

Human rights experts have said police killings of Black Americans amount to ‘crimes against humanity,’ in a devastating new international report.

The inquiry, which was conducted by experts from 11 countries, describes a decades-long history of ‘systemic’ attacks against Black people by US police, and has called on the International Criminal Court to investigate their findings, which they say demonstrate a violation of international law.


The report is the work of the Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence, an international body established in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last year to investigate ‘widespread and systematic racist violence’ in the policing of Black Americans.

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The 188-page report details numerous allegations that form an ‘alarming national pattern’ of police misconduct against Black people, citing evidence of ‘police murders’ and ‘severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution and other inhuman acts.’

In their findings, the commission concludes the United States legal system has given police forces ‘nearly unfettered power’ that allows for the ‘routine targeting’ of Black people based solely on racial bias. They also argue that the use of restraining techniques such as chokeholds and ‘compression asphyxiation’ amounts to torture, and that the widespread use of such techniques on Black Americans meets the criteria to be considered a crime against humanity.


Speaking to The Guardian, inquiry co-leader Hina Jilani said:

It became clear that this was no longer an account of individual trauma, it was an account of trauma inflicted on a whole section of the US population.

This finding of crimes against humanity was not given lightly, we included it with a very clear mind.

We examined all the facts and concluded that that there are situations in the US that beg the urgent scrutiny of the ICC.

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According to the report, unarmed Black people are four times more likely to be killed by police than unarmed white people, while the commission notes that cis- and transgender Black women are also ‘disproportionately’ victims of violence or killings by police.


As a result, the inquiry concludes that the United States is effectively governed by two systems: ‘One is for white people, and another for people of African descent.’

Following the completion of their report in March, the commission has called for both the ICC and the UN Human Rights Commission to launch full investigations into the policing of Black Americans.

According to The Washington Post’s police shootings database, 1,507 Black people have been shot and killed by US police since 2015 – a rate more than twice as high as for white Americans.

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Topics: News, America, George Floyd, Now, police brutality, Racism, US


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    US police killings of Black Americans amount to crimes against humanity, international inquiry finds