The latest police shooting of a black man was a painful reminder of how African Americans continued to be exposed to differentiated and heightened risk when engaging with law enforcement bodies in the United States, a UN official said Friday.
“This tragic episode reaffirmed the need for urgent action to eradicate linkages between structural racism and policing,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a press briefing here in Geneva on Friday.
From the images available, the UN official said, the police appeared to use force against Jacob Blake that seemed to be excessive.
“It did not appear that the law enforcement officers abided by the international standards for the intentional use of lethal force with a firearm. It also seemed highly possible that the force used against him could be discriminatory in nature,” Colville said.
Blake, 29 years old, was shot by police in Kenosha in the southeast corner of U.S. midwestern state of Wisconsin on Sunday evening and was taken to hospital in serious condition.
A video posted on social media shows he walked to a grey van, followed by two police officers with weapons drawn. As Blake opened the door to get in, an officer grabbed Blake’s shirt to hold him still, then shot him at close range in the back at least seven times.