UN Rights Chief says George Floyd murder trial “Defining” chance for justice

UN Rights Chief says George Floyd murder trial “Defining” chance for justice

On Friday, the United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that the trial of US police officer facing murder charges for the death of George Floyd is a crucial and defining opportunity for justice.

On 25th May, 2020, a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd was arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd down and kneeled on his neck, which led to Floyd’s death. His death sparked widespread protest in the United States and around the globe. Since then, Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter charges.

Amid the ongoing trial on Floyd, the United Nations rights Chief Michelle Bachelet recalled that “this crucial, defining opportunity for justice is denied to countless other families.”

The former Chilean president told the council, “So many cases involving deaths of people of African descent never make it to court, and the pain of so many families goes unacknowledged or even denied.”

On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights updated the UN Human Rights Council on the implementation of its resolution 43/1. The resolution was adopted in June last year after an urgent debate on systemic racism started over Floyd’s killing.

Bachelet informed that though there is a lot of attention on this issue right now, but still police brutality and racial discrimination incidents against people of African descent are on a rise.

She said, “No police officer or any other agent of any state should ever be above the law.”

Bachelet underscored that law enforcement and judicial authorities reflected their societies. She said, “Unless we address the systemic racism within all our institutions, we can never ‘fix’ the police alone.” She further added that awareness of the history of colonialism, slavery and discrimination were needed to address racial injustice.

In June this year, Michelle will submit a report to the council and recommend an agenda for removing systemic racism and police brutality against Africans and people of African descent.

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