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Police Brutality on Minorities

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Police Brutality on Minorities

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  • November 18, 2010
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Minority Police Brutality in Major Cities of the United States

Since the first state-sponsored police forces in the U.S. racial discrimination in police forces has been a characteristic of the American landscape. Racial profiling and police brutality have their roots in enforcement of slave codes, black codes, and Jim Crow Segregation laws. We Charge Genocide, a petition submitted to the UN by the Civil Rights Congress in 1951, documented thousands of incidents of police violence against African Americans alone. Police brutality against Native Americans has also been a regular of colonial culture in the U.S. as well. Official studies have consistently found that people and communities of color are disproportionately subjected to human rights violations at the hands of law enforcement officers, ranging from verbal abuse and harassment, racial profiling, routine stops and frisks based solely on race or gender to excessive force, unjustified shootings, and torture. There was increased national and international attention on the issue of police brutality, and its impact on people of color in 1990s following the release of the videotape documentation of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police. Over the course of the decade, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International documented widespread abuses by law enforcement agents across the country. The UN Special Report on contemporary forms of racism has stated, "The use of excessive force by police against African Americans, Asian Americans, Arabs and Indians is one of the most pressing human rights problems facing the United States.

Since 2001 incidents of police brutality and deaths in custody at the hands of U.S. law enforcement officers have been dramatically increasing. Law enforcement, in the name of the “war on terror” in the wake of September 11, has become exponentially more powerful. Consequently, both...