On July 5 and July 12 respectively, the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center and RFK Human Rights submitted briefs before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in a case highlighting systemic injustice and two racist extrajudicial killings by law enforcement. Rekia Boyd, Angela Helton and Martinez Sutton v. The United States of America and Michael Brown and Lezley McSpadden v. United States of America argue that these killings were violations of the petitioners' rights under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
Justin Hansford, Executive Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center along with RFK Human Rights represent Michael Brown and Lezley McSpadden along with Rekia Boyd, Angela Helton, and Martinez Sutton. Rekia Boyd was shot after being followed by an ununiformed officer in an unmarked vehicle who did not identify himself as an officer. Michael Brown was shot and killed after being followed, blocked, and struck with a car door while holding his hands in the air in a surrender position. Both Mike Brown and Rekia Boyd were unarmed. The interactions leading to their deaths resulted from racist patterns and practices of policing.
The failure to hold police who commit racist acts of violence accountable exposes the deficiencies in our federal laws and their noncompliance with international human rights legal standards.
For further reading: Ferguson to Geneva: Using the Human Rights Framework to Push Forward a Vision for Racial Justice in the United States after Ferguson