The Advocates Reacts to Federal Findings, Calls for End Discriminatory Police Practices
June 16, 2023, Minneapolis, MN
The Advocates for Human Rights Reacts to Federal Findings, Calls
for Ongoing Commitment to End Discriminatory Police Practices
The U.S. Department of Justice today released its report
documenting systemic abuses and a "pattern or practice of conduct that deprives
people of their rights under the Constitution and federal law." These findings indicate
serious human rights violations, a pattern of discrimination against Black and
Indigenous people, and findings of violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act and of First Amendment rights. These findings follow a report by the Minnesota Department of Human
Rights last year.
As Minneapolis moves forward, The Advocates for Human Rights calls
for the development of laws, policies, and practices which comply with international
standards on police use of force and on the investigation of potentially unlawful
deaths caused by state actors.
"Some of the core international standards for preventing unlawful killings
by state actors were developed here in Minnesota," said Robin Phillips,
Executive Director of The Advocates for Human Rights. "As Minneapolis moves
forward, we hope these standards will finally apply here at home."
Investigations into state-involved killings must be prompt, effective
and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent. The international standards
for investigation of unlawful state-involved killings are set forth in the Minnesota
Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death
International standards around police use of force provide basic
principles to avoid human rights violations. These standards seek to counter
the risks of human rights violations which attend the deployment of armed state
actors. In any use of force, law enforcement must respect the principles of
necessity and proportionality.
- Each use of force must be justified and justifiable.
- Rules governing the use of force, including weapons that may
lawfully be used, should be set out in national legislation and other
- Medical assistance shall be provided to any person, including a
criminal suspect, who has been injured during action by any law enforcement
- The police and other law enforcement officials shall be held
accountable for their use of force.
- Operations shall be planned to minimize the risk of death or
International standards on police use of force and investigation
of unlawful deaths derive from core treaty obligations which recognize the
right to life, security of the person, equal protection, and
non-discrimination. International handbooks and codes of conduct for law
enforcement officials flesh out international legal standards. Core
international treaties and documents address police misconduct, including the
Universal Declaration Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement
Officials, and the Convention against Torture (CAT). Excessive use of force by
police is specifically prohibited by two major international treaties to which
the United States is party: the ICCPR and the CAT.