Police killings of black people in the United States are reminiscent of lynchings and the government must do far more to protect them, a United Nations working group says in a report that will be debated at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.
The hard-hitting criticism – drawing a comparison between modern police behavior and mob killings of blacks in the 19th and 20th centuries — comes at a time of renewed racial tension in the United States.
This week Charlotte, North Carolina, saw street riots over the shooting of a black man, Keith Scott, by a black police officer. On Friday, a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man turned herself into authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” said the report by the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
Most lynching victims died by hanging. A 2015 report by a non-profit organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, said 3,959 black people were killed in “racial terror lynchings” in a dozen southern states between 1877 and 1950.