As rightfully incensed residents of Ferguson, Missouri continue to protest a police shooting that left an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, dead, Ron Davis–father of Jordan Davis, another slain black teen in Jacksonville, Florida–is appearing before the United Nations, aiming to shame the United States for the recent murders of young black men, and the gross miscarriages of justice that allowed their killers to walk free.
Davis attended the 85th meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva, Switzerland this past Wednesday and Thursday, in hopes of pressuring Washington to amp up efforts to stop the disturbing epidemic of what he and the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN), the NGO backing him, call “the criminalization of race” in America.
The U.S. was forced to answer questions from Davis and the international community in what the American Civil Liberties Union told press was “a singular opportunity to hold Washington accountable.”
Davis is outraged over what he (and many others) say is a rash of unpunished murders of young black men across the country.
Just six months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in killing unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, Davis’ son Jordan was gunned down at a gas station after he and his friends refused to lower their music. The case against Jordan’s killer, Michael Dunn, resulted in a mistrial.
After their murders, the character of both Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis was called into question, with the defense attorneys for the killers attempting to paint the boys as young thugs–mere criminals, who were deserving of their death sentences at the hands of men who acted as the judge, jury, and executioner–much like what Ferguson PD is attempting to do with the slain Mike Brown, by stating he was a suspect in a strong armed robbery prior to being shot down.
“These things eat at you that shouldn’t have happened, and the people doing these transgressions are getting away with it,” Davis told Al Jazeera.
Ron Davis was joined in Geneva by Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
He hopes to channel his anger over the death of his son into a solution for black fathers who have come to teach their children to accept police brutality as a fact of life in the United States. Davis and USHRN director Ejim Dike hope that taking America’s race issues to the international community will create political leverage–and a climate for change–in Washington.
Said Dike, “We have a lot of people directly impacted by the violence. We have exhausted our domestic remedies. We have to take this to the United Nations. We have to see if we can leverage that pressure to see if we can get people to act on this issue. Talking about any issue as a human rights violation gets the attention of the U.S. government. It’s embarrassing for the government that champions itself as a beacon of human rights in the world.”