ACLU oral statement to UN Human Rights Council on the lack of adequate data collection on policing

The ACLU delivered a video statement during the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council. The ACLU delivered a video statement during the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council.

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The ACLU delivered a video statement during the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, which held an interactive dialogue on Item 9: Enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner and the report of the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement (Resolution 47/21). The statement was delivered by Mr. Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program.


ACLU welcomes the first report of the Independent Expert Mechanism focusing on data collection on policing.

We agree with the Expert Mechanism that “[d]ata collection will not in itself resolve long-standing racism.” But it is an essential first step towards combating systemic racism and addressing the linkages between legacies of slavery and colonialism and present-day racial injustices especially against people of African descent.

The United States has inadequate and flawed mechanisms for data collection and analysis.

Even when laws mandating data collection on policing practices are enacted, the implementation and enforcement of these measures are often deliberately delayed or scarcely monitored, often due to pressure from police unions. These deficiencies prevent the public and victims of police violence from holding abusive law enforcement agencies accountable.

The burden should not fall on victims, impacted communities, or civil society groups, including media outlets, to document and collect data on policing.

But let’s be clear: the solution is not more investment in policing. United States must implement solutions that are based on life-affirming alternatives to policing, such as the creation of civilian-led crisis intervention teams and shifting resources to invest in communities of color and address poverty and the mental health crisis.

While the Biden administration took important first steps to address systemic racism and police violence, it must do much more to fully implement its international racial justice obligations, including the recent by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and coordinate the Expert Mechanism visit to the United States as soon as possible.

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