Full text: Chronology of Human Rights Violations of the United States in 2016
March 09,2017 By:Xinhua
UN News Center reported on its website that a delegation of the UN Working Group of experts on people of African descent appointed by the UN Human Rights Council visited Washington D.C., Baltimore, the town of Jackson, Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City from 9 to 29 January.
The experts expressed serious concerns about the police killings, the presence of police in schools, and violence targeting the African American community with impunity, and racial bias in the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty which disproportionately affects African Americans.
The experts' report said that there has been no real commitment to recognition and reparations for people of African descent in the country. Systemic racism continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of African Americans. The experts expressed serious concerns about the police violence targeting the African American community and racial bias in the criminal justice system. The working group is concerned about the problem of killings and excessive use of force committed by law enforcement officials while on duty, and it is deeply concerned about the low number of cases in which police officers have been held accountable. The experts found that contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the "racial terror and lynching" of the past. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency. The report said that killings of unarmed African Americans by the police is only the tip of the iceberg in what is a pervasive racial bias in the justice system. The incarceration rate for African American males is 5.9 times higher than the rate for white males. African Americans, constituting 14 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for 36 percent of sentenced federal and state prisoners. From an early age African Americans are treated as a dangerous criminal group and face a presumption of guilt. Racial bias and disparities in the criminal justice system and the tough-on-crime polices disproportionately impact African Americans. Race was a significant factor in death penalty cases in the United States. The report also noted the disparities in access to education, health, housing and employment. More than 10 million (26 percent) of African Americans remain mired in poverty, and 12 percent live in "deep poverty." In 2015, of the more than half a million homeless people in the United States, African Americans constituted 40.4 percent.
"The persistent gap in almost all the human development indicators, such as life expectancy, income and wealth, level of education, housing, employment and labor, and even food security, among African Americans and the rest of the U.S. population, reflects the level of structural discrimination that creates de facto barriers for people of African descent to fully exercise their human rights," Ms. Mendes France, head of the group, stressed.
The Washington Post website reported that Philip B. Salazar, a 38-year-old Hispanic man armed with a scissors, was shot by police in a house in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The Washington Post website reported that Bruce Kelley, a 37-year-old black man, was shocked with a stun gun and shot by police in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Family said that he suffered from mental illness.