Wednesday, April 28, 2021

US policing is a crime against humanity

US Police kill around a thousand people a year. Roughly half of them are black, a rate three times that of their proportion of the population. US policing is racist and murderous. And that makes it a crime against humanity:

The systematic killing and maiming of unarmed African Americans by police amount to crimes against humanity that should be investigated and prosecuted under international law, an inquiry into US police brutality by leading human rights lawyers from around the globe has found.


In a devastating report running to 188 pages, human rights experts from 11 countries hold the US accountable for what they say is a long history of violations of international law that rise in some cases to the level of crimes against humanity.

They point to what they call “police murders” as well as “severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution and other inhuman acts” as systematic attacks on the Black community that meet the definition of such crimes.

They also call on the prosecutor of the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague to open an immediate investigation with a view to prosecutions.

But who to prosecute? Individual officers who commit these murders, obviously. The superiors who excuse, cover up, or merely look the other way on murder are also guilty, under the principle of command responsibility. But there's also the politicians who provide them with legal impunity, both at a state and federal level, all of whom have a legal duty to prevent crimes against humanity, and by conspicuously failing to do so (and in some cases, explicitly excusing and encouraging them) are effectively co-conspirators. This report should put them all on notice: either the US sorts its shit out, stops murdering black people and starts holding historic criminals accountable, or the international community will.