Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States

On April 27, 2021, the International Commission of Inquiry officially released its Report, including its findings, recommendations and analysis, based on live hearings and information on over 44 cases of police maiming and killing directed at Black people in the United States. The full, 188-page report is available for download as a PDF, and its text is also available here on the Inquiry Commission website.

Read the Report:

I. Executive Summary

II. Introduction

III. The Genesis of Systemic Racist Police Violence and Structural Racism in the United States

Cases Heard by the Commission

IV. Findings of Fact

1. Pretextual Traffic Stops Are A Common Precursor To Police Killings And Uses Of Excessive Force Against People Of African Descent

2. “Broken Windows” Or “Order Maintenance” Policing Triggers Deadly Police Violence Against People Of African Descent

3. Police Killings Of People Of African Descent Systematically Follow Violations Of Their Fourth Amendment Rights

4. Police Routinely Use Excessive And Lethal Restraints Against People Of African Descent

5. Lethal Police Violence Against People Of African Descent Is Exacerbated By Medical Apartheid And Police Failure To Provide Medical Attention

6. Lethal Police Violence Against People Of African Descent Experiencing Mental Health Crises is Systematic

7, Police Systematically Use Excessive Force Against Cis-and Transgender Black Women, Girls and Femmes

8. Systemic Racist Police Violence Kills and Traumatizes Black Children and Youth

9. Racist Police Violence Traumatizes And Devastates Families And Communities

10. Black Immigrants Are Particularly Vulnerable To Systemic Racist Police Violence And Police Killings

11. Legal Actors Are Complicit In Police Violence And Killings Of Black People Through Qualified Immunity And Other Forms of Systemic Impunity

V. Systemic Racist Violence in Policing Against People of African Descent in the United States has Resulted in a Pattern of Gross and Reliably Attested Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

VI. U.S. Law and Police Practices Do Not Comply with International Human Rights Law and Standards Governing the Use of Force

VII. The Systemic Racism and Police Violence against People of African Descent Constitute Crimes against Humanity

VIII. Recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry

Appendix I: Summary Of Cases Presented At The Hearings

Appendix II: International Law Addendum On Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms

Appendix III: International Law Addendum On Crimes Against Humanity

COMMISSIONERS

  • Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Barbados
  • Professor Niloufer Bhagwat, India
  • Mr. Xolani Maxwell Boqwana, South Africa
  • Professor Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, France
  • Dr. Arturo Fournier Facio, Costa Rica
  • Judge Peter Herbert OBE, UK
  • Ms. Hina Jilani, Pakistan
  • Professor Rashida Manjoo, South Africa
  • Professor Osamu Niikura, Japan
  • Sir Clare K. Roberts, QC, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Mr. Bert Samuels, Jamaica
  • Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, Nigeria

RAPPORTEURS

  • Professor Horace Campbell, United States
  • Professor Marjorie Cohn, United States
  • Ms. Ria Julien, United States
  • Professor Priscilla Ocen, United States

The Commission was organized by:

  • National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL)
  • International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
  • National Lawyers Guild (NLG)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States expresses its gratitude for the many people who have contributed to its work.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the witnesses who provided testimony to the Commission, particularly the family members of victims of systemic racist police violence against people of African descent, the attorneys for family members and victims, and expert witnesses. We thank: Ms. Lakisha Alomaja, Ms. Dominic Archibald, Mr. Mark Arons, Prof. Michael Avery, Ms. Lonita Baker, Ms. Janet Baker, Ms. Maria Banjo, Mrs. Nicole Paultre Bell, Ms. Montye Benjamin, Mr. James Bible, Mr. Jacob Blake, Mrs. Jindia Blount, Mr. Kyle Brazile, Ms. Gwen Carr, Ms. Monet Carter-Mixon, Prof. Laura Cohen, Ms. Venethia Cook, Mr. Benjamin Crump, Mr. Cory Dalmata, Mr. Brendan Daniels, Mr. J. Denton Daniels, Ms. Annette Daniels Watkins, Ms. Marva Davis, Mr. Ares Davoice, Mr. Anthony Eiland, Ms. Collette Flanagan, Mr. Philonise Floyd, Mr. Lee Friedland, Mr. Dale Galipo, Ms. Heather Garcia, Ms. Sarah Gelsomino, Ms. Diminga George, Prof. Camille Gibson, Mr. Gerald Griggs, Ms . Laura Harper, Mr. Seth Harris, Mr. Geoff Henley, Mr. Jimmy Hill, Ms. Alexis Hill, Mr. Abdul Jaiteh, Ms. Allison Jean, Ms. Deborah Jones-Bush, Ms. Tawanda Jones-Bush, Ms. Addie Kitchen, Mr. Andre Lagomarsino, Mr. Christopher Lawrence, Ms. Constance Malcolm, Rev. Kevin McCall, Ms. Lezley McSpadden, Mr. Patrick Megaro, Mr. Lee Merritt, Mr. Billy Mills, Ms. Maria Moore, Ms. Omo Klumsum Muhammad, Judge William Murphy, Ms. Angelique Negroni-Kearse, Mr. Hawk Newsome, Mr. David Owens, Mr. Dwayne Palmer, Ms. Tamika Palmer, Ms. Tamala Payne, Mr. Camilo Perez Bustillo, Mr. Adante Pointer, Ms. Denise Price, Mr. Joseph Prude, Ms. Jasmine Rand, Ms. Samaria Rice, Ms. Andrea Ritchie, Ms. Jasmine Roberson, Mr. Sanford Rubenstein, Mr. Royce Russell, Ms. Jamika Scott, Mr. Derek Sells, Ms. Nabeha Shaer, Mr. David Shurtz, Mr. Derek Sieck, Mr. Lare Sisay, Ms. Jasmine Smith, Mr. Chad Steen, Mr. Tom Steenson, Mr. Thomas Needham Sweeney, Mr. Kevin Tarver, Mr. Flint Taylor, Mr. Donald Thompson, Mr. Steve Vaccaro, Ms. Greeny Valbuena, Prof. Penny Venetis, Ms. Annette Walker, Mr. Patrick Warren, Jr., Mr. Daryl Washington, and Mr. Courtney Wilson.

We thank the Commissioners: Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Barbados; Professor Niloufer Bhagwat, India; Mr. Xolani Maxwell Boqwana, South Africa; Professor Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, France; Dr. Arturo Fournier Facio, Costa Rica; Judge Peter Herbert OBE, UK; Ms. Hina Jilani, Pakistan; Professor Rashida Manjoo, South Africa; Professor Osamu Niikura, Japan; Sir Clare K. Roberts, QC, Antigua and Barbuda; Mr. Bert Samuels, Jamaica; and Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, Nigeria for their service on the Commission.

We thank the Rapporteurs: Professor Horace Campbell; Professor Marjorie Cohn; Ms. Ria Julien; and Professor Priscilla Ocen, for their careful and thoughtful work in developing this report.

We thank Gail Davidson, Amit Azulay, Tim Agaba Baroraho, Sara Ali Elbanna, Oscar Fishman, Dina Nehme, Sarah Petrick, Tess Pilkington, Leslie Diane Poston, Tasha Thomas, Eugenia Valais, Taryn Williams, and Alexandria Yakes for their research and outreach assistance.

We thank the National Lawyers Guild Foundation for its financial support that made the work of the Commission possible.

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