UN says police brutality in US violates anti-torture treaty

A United Nations report released Friday accused the United States of being out of compliance on an international anti-torture treaty, citing incidents of police brutality, military interrogations and prison conditions.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture report came days after a grand jury exonerated Ferguson, Mo., Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teen Michael Brown.

Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., testified before the same committee earlier this month, CNN reported.

Michael Browns Parents
Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden photo courtesy of CNN.

“We need the world to know what’s going on in Ferguson and we need justice,” McSpadden said to CNN.

“We need answers and we need action. And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what’s going on in small town Ferguson,” she continued.

Among the reports chief concerns were the use of excessive force by police, in particular the Chicago Police Department. The report, the first of its kind since 2006, addressed particular concerns with the department’s treatment of blacks and Hispanics. It also said that the use of tasters should be restricted strictly to life threatening situations, reported The New York Times.

The report is also critical military interrogations, maximum security prisons, solitary confinement, illegal immigration and called on the government to create tougher laws to outlaw torture.

“There are numerous areas in which certain things should be changed for the United States to comply fully with the convention,” said Alessio Bruni of Italy at a Friday news conference in Geneva.

This is the same United Nations elected Iran as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women so their recommendations may be taken with a grain of salt.

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Carmine Sabia

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