Jun 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo: UN debate on race and policing in U.S. "marks a new low for that body"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C, on June 11. Photo: Yui Gripas/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday denounced a debate on racism and police brutality in the U.S. held by the United Nations Human Rights Council, pointing out that China's authoritarian state is a member of the body.

Why it matters: A widespread push for police reform has swept multiple cities and states across the U.S. in response to massive Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality after George Floyd's killing.

What they're saying: "The @UN_HRC debate on policing and race in the U.S. marks a new low for that body," Pompeo tweeted on Saturday. "Our vigorous, ongoing civic discourse is a sign of our democracy’s strength and maturity. We were right to leave this joke of a 'human rights' forum comprised of Venezuela & recently, Cuba & China."

  • "Americans work through difficult societal problems openly, knowing their freedoms are protected by the Constitution and a strong rule of law," the secretary of state added.
  • “The tragic events of 25 May in Minneapolis in the US which led to the death of George Floyd led to protests throughout the world against injustice and police brutality that persons of African descent face on a daily basis in many regions of the world," Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, Burkina Faso's coordinator of the UN African Group, said while proposing the debate on Monday.
  • “This is why the African Group calls upon the Human Rights Council to organize an Urgent Debate on current violations of human rights that are based on racism, systemic racism, police brutality against persons of African descent and violence against peaceful demonstrations to call for an end to be put to these injustices," Faso said.

The bottom line: Through video footage of some U.S. protests and Floyd's killing, a reality for black people has become increasingly apparent — that law enforcement sometimes doesn't tell the whole truth when they injure civilians.

Go deeper: Top State Department official resigns over Trump's response to racial injustice

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