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GENEVA (8 July 2016) – Human rights expert Ricardo A. Sunga III, who currently Chairs the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, issued the following statement after this week’s deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana at the hands of the police, and Thursday’s killing of five police officers in downtown Dallas.
“The Working Group is outraged and strongly condemns the new police killings of two African- American men. These killings which were captured on video cannot be ignored. We call for prompt independent investigations to ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished.
We also condemn the attacks on police officers in Dallas and call for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
Excessive use of force by the police against African Americans in the United States is a regular occurrence. African Americans are reportedly shot at more than twice the rate of white people.
The Working Group is monitoring the situation and has repeatedly expressed its concern to the United States Government about police killings of African Americans and called for justice. The Working Group is convinced that the root of the problem lies in the lack of accountability for perpetrators of such killings despite the evidence.
The killings also demonstrate a high level of structural and institutional racism. The United States is far from recognizing the same rights for all its citizens. Existing measures to address racist crimes motivated by prejudice are insufficient and have failed to stop the killings.
It is time, now, for the US Government to strongly assert that Black lives matter and prevent any further killings as a matter of national priority.”