GENEVA - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is calling Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in the killing of George Floyd momentous and a testament to the perseverance of his family and others in calling for justice.
Bachelet said the evidence was “crystal clear” in the prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer. He was found guilty Tuesday of killing African American George Floyd in police custody. She said any other result would have been a travesty of justice.
The high commissioner said while justice this time was served, justice remains elusive for countless of other victims of African descent and their families in the United States and throughout the world.
“This case has also helped reveal, perhaps more clearly than ever before, how much remains to be done to reverse the tide of systemic racism that permeates the lives of people of African descent. Now is the time to critically examine the context in which George Floyd’s killing took place by revisiting the past and examining its toxic traces in today’s society,” she said.
Bachelet said impunity for crimes and human rights violations by law enforcement officers must end. She added there must be robust reforms to policing as currently practiced in the United States and elsewhere.
Bachelet’s spokesman, Rupert Colville, told VOA the high commissioner fears the significance of the Floyd verdict will become just one good moment in a long line of terrible events if it is not followed up with concrete action.
“There is a risk that actually we just fall back into the same pattern. So, the high commissioner today is kind of highlighting that. We need to now just stop talking about reform, but to do reform and to make it stick. But also, to do the much deeper work across society, which is much more difficult, of really trying to tackle this systemic racism that is prevalent in all societies.”
Last June, the U.N. Human Rights Council held a special session on systemic racism and police brutality against people of African descent, following the killing of Floyd by Chauvin on May 25.
Colville said High Commissioner Bachelet will present a report on this issue during the council’s upcoming June session. He said the report will contain recommendations for transformative change, better policing and strengthening accountability for crimes against people of African descent and other minority groups.