Powered by Topple

In ‘urgent appeal,’ Floyd family calls on United Nations to intervene, stop extrajudicial killings of African Americans by US cops

Powered by Topple

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE.


The politicization of George Floyd’s death continues in earnest, with family and legal representatives, to include attorney Benjamin Crump, filing an “urgent appeal” calling on the United Nations to intervene in Floyd’s legal case.

Somehow, you get the feeling that the Trump administration might not be persuaded by the liberal world body.

The appeal to the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was made on Monday, according to Law & Crime, which reported the family is asking the UN to make recommendations to the United States on instituting systemic policing reform.

The four-page address describes Floyd’s treatment at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers as both “torture” and an “extrajudicial killing” — all four officers have been fired and charged in Floyd’s death.

On the same day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., unveiled a “sweeping police reform” bill that calls for the demilitarization of police forces and the end of military-type weapon sales to law enforcement officers, the Floyd family made a similar call.

More from Law & Crime:

The letter concluded with a list of demands including: an end to the doctrine of qualified immunity; stopping the “provision of military equipment to, and military-type training of police”; mandatory “use of body cameras for all police officers and the immediate release of video footage and audio recordings following incidents involving police killings”; and the establishment of “an independent commission to review, investigate, prosecute and conduct independent autopsies in all police extrajudicial killings.”

 

The irony of the demands is that the body cam footage of the officers involved in the case has yet to be released — the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that at least two officers had activated their body cameras upon arriving at the scene.

Reporter Paul Sperry said in a tweet Monday that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison “refuses” to release the footage, adding that it shows Floyd “violently resisting arrest and fighting with cops” inside the police cruiser.

Sperry tweeted: “BREAKING: Minnesota Attorney General Keith “X” Ellison refuses to publicly release video footage from the body cams of accused cops who struggled with 6-4, 235-lb George Floyd. Footage is said to reveal Floyd violently resisting arrest and fighting with cops inside police vehicle.”

 

President Trump is mentioned, with a vow to protect the Second Amendment being cited to say such statements “further incite vigilante behavior and incite extrajudicial killings of African Americans by police and citizens.”

The letter references the death of Trayvon Martin — Crump represented his family — who was killed by a Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, who is still being portrayed as “white.”

“The extrajudicial killing of African Americans by police officers in the United States constitutes such a pervasive and widespread pattern that White Americans have been emboldened to act as vigilantes,” the appeal said.

Statistics compiled by the Washington Post dispute the claim.

According to the newspaper, police shot and killed 19 unarmed whites in 2019 out of a total of 370 killed, compared to nine unarmed African Americans out of 235 killed.

Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man shot and killed while attacking a Ferguson, Mo., police officer was also named, to include the claim that Brown was “shot six times with his hands up.”

(That is a false narrative, as determined by the Eric Holder-led Justice Department.)

Crump also represented the Brown family.

The details of the events leading to Floyd’s death were included in letter.

“During his arrest, four police officers restrained [Floyd] using unlawful and excessive force,” the UN appeal said. “Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds while Mr. Floyd was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. As officer Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck, a second and third officer, Thomas K. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, kneeled on his back and legs. A fourth officer who was present, Tou Thao, did not intervene to stop the use of unlawful and excessive force, and instead stood guard to stop citizens from intervening to save George Floyd’s life and threatened them with mace.”

There was also a reference to an autopsy commissioned by the family claiming Floyd died from “mechanical asphyxia due to neck and back pressure.”

The official autopsy said Floyd died of cardiopulmonary arrest, which means his heart failed.

The letter to the UN did not mention the toxicology report that showed fentanyl in his system — fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid with heroin-like effects. The report also showed that Floyd had recently taken methamphetamine.

Tom Tillison

Comments

Latest Articles