In a recent article, a UAE human rights activist proclaims that the United Nations should protect minority groups from ISIS which implies that the United Nations could protect Black teenagers from future police shootings. In the past, the United Nations was instrumental in protecting minorities in Chechnya and Rwanda as well as Christians in Iraq. Since the Black teenager police shooting of Michael Brown, racial unrest has become prominent in the United States which may be only resolved with the United Nations protecting Blacks and Black teenagers from future police shootings.

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization established 24 October 1945, to promote international co-operation. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

The United Nations has had great success in reducing police shootings and keeping world peace. It negotiated an end to the Salvadoran Civil War, launched a successful peacekeeping mission in Namibia, and oversaw democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia. In 1991, the United Nations authorized a US-led coalition that repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

In the late 1990s and 2000s, international interventions authorized by the UN took a wider variety of forms. The United Nations mission in the Sierra Leone Civil War of 1991–2002 was supplemented by British Royal Marines, and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was overseen by NATO. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq despite failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution for authorization, prompting a new round of questioning of the organization’s effectiveness.

This rift between the United Nations Security Council and the United States may have positioned the United Nations as the perfect entity to protect Blacks and Black teenagers from police shootings and extinction.

There is a long history of police shootings and violence in the United States that only intervention from the United Nations may prove beneficial for stopping future police shootings of Blacks and Black teenagers.

In Chicago, On December 4, 1969, Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were slain in a police raid that implicated the Cook County State’s Attorney and the FBI’s Cointelpro program. The legal case was dismissed by a local judge.

It was found, from 1972 to 1991, that a crew of predominately white Chicago police detectives, led by Jon Burge, tortured at least 120 African-American men from. Cook County State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley was tendered powerful evidence of this torture as early as 1982, but did not investigate or prosecute Burge and his men. Seventeen years later, in 2008 the U.S. Attorney indicted Burge for perjury and obstruction of justice, and he was convicted in 2010, and sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison. However, the U.S. Attorney has subsequently declined to prosecute Burge’s confederates for similar offenses.

In Oakland, California in the late 1990s, a unit of police officers called the “Rough Riders” systematically beat, framed and planted narcotics on Blacks whom they claimed were dealing drugs. The officers were acquitted of eight charges, and the jury was hung on the remaining 27 counts. At the urging of then-Mayor Jerry Brown, the officers were not re-tried.

In 1980 a New Orleans crew of white detectives responded to the killing of a White police officer by terrorizing the black community of Algiers. Resulting in the killing of four innocent people and torturing numerous others by beating suspects with telephone books and suffocating them with bags over their heads. Seven officers were indicted by the Department of Justice for civil rights violations and three officers were convicted.  No officers were charged for the four killings or for the other acts of torture.

In 1991 Rodney King was brutally beaten by five LAPD officers. The beating was captured on video tape. Four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. Three of the officers were acquitted of all charges, while the fourth was acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon and other lesser charges. The jury failed to reach a verdict on his use of excessive force.

In 1997, an NYPD officer sexually assaulted a Haitian-American man named Abner Louima in a precinct station bathroom by shoving a broken broomstick up his rectum. Louima’s attacker was subsequently charged with federal civil rights violations, while three of his police accomplices were charged with covering up the crimes. After they were convicted a second time, the Appeals Court again overturned their convictions on the basis of insufficient evidence.

In 1999, four officers from the New York Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant who was reaching for his wallet. The officers were indicted for second degree murder and the case was moved to upstate New York, where a jury acquitted the officers.

In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officer fatally shot an unarmed black man named Henry Glover, then several of his fellow officers burned his body to cover-up their crime. NOPD officers also shot and killed two unarmed black men on the Danziger Bridge.

From 2007-2012 in Milwaukee, a unit of White police officers, spurred on by the Department’s CompStat program of aggressive policing, stopped and illegally body cavity searched more than 70 African-American men whom they claimed to be investigating for drug dealing. The unit’s ringleader, Michael Vagnini, was indicted by the Milwaukee County District Attorney on numerous counts of sexual assault, illegal searches, and official misconduct, while three of the other unit officers were also charged for participating in two of the searches. The unit’s sergeant and several other members of the unit, all of whom were present for many of the searches, were not charged. The charged officers were permitted to plead guilty to the lesser included offenses of official misconduct and illegal strip searches, with Vagnini receiving a 36-month sentence while the other three received sentences that totaled, collectively, less than a month in jail. By pleading guilty, they also received promises that they would not be charged with federal civil rights violations.

In 2009, in Oakland, in the early morning hours of New Years Day, a BART officer shot and killed a young black man named Oscar Grant, who was lying face down, unarmed,  in a busy transit station. The shooting was videotaped, and a jury rejected the charge of murder and instead found the officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

In July of 2014, NYPD officers arrested a Black man named Eric Garner, allegedly for selling untaxed cigarettes. They put a prohibited chokehold on him, forced him to the ground face first with his hands behind his back, and shoved his face into the pavement. He died a few minutes later of a heart attack. The deadly assault, which was captured on videotape. A New York grand jury declined to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo in the homicide.

In August 2014, Los Angeles Police Department officers fatally shot an unarmed mentally ill African-American man named Ezell Ford, who witnesses said was shot in the back while lying on the ground. To date there has been no grand jury investigation nor has the autopsy report been released.

While in 1994, the United States Congress, recognized that police shhotings, misconduct, and violence was systemic in many parts of the country, they passed 42 U.S. Code Section 14141, which empowered the Justice Department to file suit against police departments alleging patterns and practices of unconstitutional conduct, and to obtain wide ranging court orders, consent decrees, and independent monitors in order to implement reforms to those practices.

The atrocities against Black and especially Black teenagers have continued and the only way to rectify these continued police shootings may require intervention from the United Nations.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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