HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 'State-sanctioned violenc...

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 08:59 PM

'State-sanctioned violence': US police fail to meet basic human rights standards

Article at:

Police in America’s biggest cities are failing to meet even the most basic international human rights standards governing the use of lethal force, a new study from the University of Chicago has found.

Researchers in the university’s law school put the lethal use-of-force policies of police in the 20 largest US cities under the microscope. They found not a single police department was operating under guidelines that are compliant with the minimum standards laid out under international human rights laws.

Among the failings identified by the law scholars, some police forces violate the requirement that lethal force should only be wielded when facing an immediate threat and as a last resort. Some departments allow deadly responses in cases of “escaping suspects”, “fugitives”, or “prevention of crime” – all scenarios that would be deemed to fall well outside the boundaries set by international law.


Remarkably, the researchers from the law school’s international human rights clinic discovered that none of the 20 police departments were operating under state laws that were in accord with human rights standards.

There is a lot more detail in the study along with recommendations. I'll be reading it for a while longer, but wanted to share before I forget.


I'll paste the first four recommended legislative changes:

1. The federal government should ensure federal, state and local policing complies with international human rights standards and commitments of the United States. U.S. Congress should deploy its legislative and spending powers to ensure police use force in a human rights-compliant manner, including requiring that police use of force policies meet the standards of necessity, proportionality and accountability, and that law enforcement officers protect and enable individual human rights.

2. State legislatures should enact legal limits on police use of force that comply with international human rights and standards of necessity, proportionality and accountability and protect and enable individual human rights.

3. In light of extensive evidence of excessive use of force by federal, state and local law enforcement during lawful demonstrations, government at all levels should re-evaluate the presence of armed police during lawful public gatherings. Alternatives to law enforcement and unarmed and specialized community engagement police units have been shown to be more effective in providing assistance in organized events and public gatherings than armed units in other countries, as documented in Defending Dissent: Towards State Practices that Protect and Promote the Rights to Protest (IHRC/INCLO 2018).

4. U.S. Congress should revise the standard under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 permitting police officers to use force from a “reasonableness” standard to “only as a last resort and when absolutely necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm.”

1 replies, 276 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'State-sanctioned violence': US police fail to meet basic human rights standards (Original post)
Midnightwalk Jun 22 OP
Faux pas Jun 22 #1

Response to Midnightwalk (Original post)

Mon Jun 22, 2020, 09:02 PM

1. Kickin' with disgust!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread