A group of United Nations human rights officials on Friday called on the U.S. government to “take decisive action to address systemic racism and racial bias in the country’s criminal justice system.”
The statement, released by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner comes after more than a week and a half of riots have erupted in several cities across the United States following the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
The office also released a statement from the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council which read, in part, that the riots demonstrate “a rejection of the fundamental racial inequality” that “characterize life in the United States for black people.”
The statement referred to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia as “modern-day racial terror lynchings.”
George Floyd died following his arrest for using a counterfeit $20 bill. A widely circulated video showed a white police officer restraining him face down with the officer’s knee on Floyd’s neck.
Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was shot in her apartment on March 13 when police used a “no-knock” warrant to raid what officials erroneously believed was a drug drop location.
Ahmaud Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, while jogging, by two white men.
The UN officials also criticized the response of President Donald Trump and state and local leaders to the riots, who have bolstered law enforcement to quell the disturbances.
“Statements from the US Government inciting and threatening violence against protesters stand in stark contrast to calls for leniency and understanding which the Government had issued in the wake of largely white protests against COVID-19 restrictions on services like barbershops, salons, and spas,” the UNHROHC release said quoting the officials.