AHRC Condemns Excessive Use of Force and Calls for a National Dialogue on Policing:
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) calls for a transparent and thorough investigation regarding the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd who died on Monday, May 25, 2020 while being restrained during an arrest by a Minneapolis police officer.
Pictures and video show the arresting officer with his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd plead to be allowed to breathe and passersby did too. Mr. Floyd appears not resisting Police. However, he died from the sustained stress position he was put in. The use of excessive force and brutality killed Mr. Floyd.This appalling crime is another painful reminder of the ongoing challenges African Americans often face in encountering law enforcement. This continues to reoccur.
AHRC calls for a national conversation on race and policing. As advocates of community policing, we see no alternative but a partnership model between the police and the communities that they are tasked with serving and protecting. The foundation of that partnership is trust. If policed communities do not trust law enforcement, there are serious consequences for both law enforcement and the communities they serve.
We do not believe in generalizing responsibility for a crime- to all law enforcement or to all members of a community. But we do believe in the need to deal with systems and procedures that lead to tragic but avoidable consequences. The problem is not one individual and one encounter.
While protesting is important in signaling disapproval and calling for change, we call on all stakeholders to engage in a sincere and serious dialogue. Dialogue, engagement and trust building are important and are true and tested methods of improving policing.
We can change and improve policing across the country. There are thousands of police departments in the US and hundreds of thousands of police officers. Not all of them are having a problematic relationship with communities they serve. We call for sharing lessons and best practices. We can't have a democracy that respects human rights existing alongside troubled and troubling police-community relations.
AHRC calls on all police departments across the nation to reassess their use of force policies on ongoing basis and to provide continued training to combat hidden biases. Police Departments must create mechanisms that profile, assess and review the conduct and the practices of officers as a common practice. Oversight boards will help Police Departments detect certain officers' bias, attitudes and aggressive behavior towards minorities and particularly African Americans.
"Any injustice or attacks, in any form, against a Black man must end. We must all fight and challenge injustice toward anyone, especially Black Men. Black Live's Do Matter! Remember George Floyd and others that have fallen to injustice at the hands of others" said Professor Michael Thomas, AHRC Board Member.
"The police brutality and systemic racism whether in Minnesota or anywhere, must end. Body cameras are not sufficient to end these barbaric acts". said Imam Steve Elturk, AHRC founding member. "What we need is a kind of education that transforms racists into an all-embracing individuals that honor and cherish the diversity in human creation. Let us honor God by honoring and respecting each other." concluded Imam Elturk.
"We believe in the importance of transparency and accountability," said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. "We call for change that would make tragedies like the recent one in Minneapolis unthinkable," concluded Hamad.