Shining a light on starless midnight: dismantling systemic racism in law enforcement

On 25 May 2020, George Floyd was tortured and murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, USA. Mr. Floyd’s killing is yet another manifestation of the violence and horror that exists at the nexus of systemic racism and police brutality. It has also sparked worldwide anti-racism protests and reinvigorated a movement calling for profound reform and rethinking of law enforcement. This episode is dedicated to the issue of systemic racism and police brutality, and to reflect on how these phenomena relate to torture and ill-treatment. Discrimination is a root cause for torture, and both systemic racism and torture are deployed to dehumanise their victim. It is crucial for the global communities to take proactive and concrete actions to address both systemic racism and torture in-depth and dismantle the structures of oppression that breed violence and impunity.

The following guests bring their extensive expertise and experience to this discussion, from international, national, and local perspectives.

  1. Tendayi Achiume, United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
  2. Vincent Warren, Executive Director, Centre for Constitutional Rights 
  3. Natasha Neri, civil society representative, activist and award-winning film director, working with victims and families of victims of police violence in Brazil. 

This episode also includes:

  1. Juan E.Mendez, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, on the expert-led initiative to develop international guidelines on non-coercive interviewing by law enforcement. 
  2. A reading of ‘The Tradition’, poem by Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown performed by actor Anika Harden.