Following the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, members of the human rights movement in the United States understood instantly that justice within the American legal system, which has a long history of shielding police officers and racist vigilantes from prosecution, was anything but certain. To enhance the chances of having the individual officers (Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao) prosecuted for Floyd’s death, but also to have demands for systemic change heard and amplified, the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) worked with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and others to set in motion a process that gained the support of domestic and international human rights organizations; international human rights bodies, such as the African Group/Group of African States (GAFS), consisting of fifty-four African nations; and, finally, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) itself. In fact, the urgent debate held at the United Nations in Geneva in June 2020 marked an unprecedented moment in the institution’s long history. This was the first time that a Western country had been held accountable, at this level, for flagrant human rights violations occurring within their borders and at the hands of their government.
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Beckett, B. I., & Hankins, S. K. (2021). “Until We Are First Recognized as Humans”: The Killing of George Floyd and the Case for Black Life at the United Nations. International Journal of Human Rights Education, 5(1). Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/ijhre/vol5/iss1/4