"Disproportionate number" of African Americans killed by police

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Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A disproportionate number of young African Americans die in encounters with police officers, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein was reacting on Tuesday to the decision by a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri in the United States to not charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of an 18 year-old African American man, Michael Brown.

The Human Rights chief also urged all protestors to avoid violence and destruction in the wake of this decision, which has reportedly already damaged dozens of buildings and shops.

Stéphane Dujarric is Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

“The High Commissioner said that he was not, at this point, able to comment on whether or not the verdict conforms with international human rights law. Nevertheless, he said he was deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in U.S. prisons and on Death Row.”

Mr Dujarric added that the High Commissioner called on US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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