One Big Thing: Do you think police brutality is an infringement on human rights in the U.S?
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What is it?
- On Monday, March 25, George Floyd died while in the custody of Minneapolis arresting police offices in an incident widely being described as tragic and unnecessary. Mr. Floyd’s death was widely publicized across news outlets and social media, sparking significant public condemnation of police brutality.
- Unfortunately, police brutality afflicts people around the world each day and has only been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Kenya, police have cracked down on anyone breaking curfew which has led to the death of several citizens.
- Since March 2019, Hong Kong police have violently clashed with pro-democracy protesters, leading to widespread claims of police brutality. Similarly in Russia, police have historically faced accusations of systematic police brutality.
Why is it important?
- The death of George Floyd has reignited the issue of police brutality against black Americans and how the U.S. continues to deal with racial inequalities.
- Police brutality constitutes a civil and human rights violation, no matter where in the world it occurs. However, in the United States, the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantees due process for all people.
- Police officers are on the front lines and often confront tense and violent situations which puts their lives in danger and play a critical role in community safety. However, situations like the deaths of George Floyd and Eric Garner raise issues of police response.
What can you do?
- Learn more from the United Nations’ Human Rights Standards and Practice for the Police
- Visit the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund to learn more about officers who have died on the front lines.
- See data from Mapping Police Violence
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