UN experts: U.S. needs to wrap up review of Trayvon Martin case and examine lawsBy UN News Center | Last updated: Sep 16, 2013 - 8:45:58 AM
“We call upon the U.S. government to examine its laws that could have discriminatory impact on African Americans, and to ensure that such laws are in full compliance with the country’s international legal obligations and relevant standards,” said human rights expert Verene Shepherd, who currently heads the UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent.
The death of Trayvon Martin sparked a new debate about racial profiling in the United States after the unarmed Black 17-year-old was shot and killed in Florida by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman. Mr. Zimmerman, who argued that he acted in self-defense and with justifiable use of deadly force, was found not guilty of all charges against him.
The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are currently evaluating the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial, trying to establish potential civil rights charges linked to the case.
“States are required to take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists,” said Special Rapporteur on Racism Mutuma Ruteere.
According to the 2011 U.S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Statistics, 71.9 percent of the total number of victims of hate crimes reported to the nation’s law enforcement agencies were victims of an offender’s anti-Black bias. In a 2012 survey, the non-governmental organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that at least 136 unarmed Black Americans were killed by police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes over the course of a single year. (UN News Center)
Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012 (China Information Office)