MOSCOW, June 5 (Sputnik) - The case of George Floyd, an African American man who died in Minneapolis police custody, is only one of many examples of police brutality against people in the United States, Gay J. McDougall, a professor in Leitner Center for International Law and Justice in New York said on Friday at a video conference of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights.
"The reality is that his [George Floyd's] death is one of a strain of deaths of innocent people, unarmed, by police across the country," McDougall said, adding that the real demand of the demonstrators is that racism, hatred and fear finally be fully confronted and dealt with.
The professor also raised concerns about the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and, in some cases, live ammunition by police officers toward peaceful protesters, which violates international standards of the use of force. Within the context, McDougall called on the US to abide by human rights obligations and refrain from using weapons against peaceful protesters and journalists.
Meanwhile, Pap Ndiaye, a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris) and the former UN Special Rapporteur on Minorities, said that Floyd's case should be made a topic for serious discussion, as this was not purely a US problem.
"This is not something purely foreign, some young people in Europe may face the same problems," the professor added.
According to Ndiaye, the free circulation of weapons in the US partially explains the high level of violence, though Floyd was "bare-handed" when he was killed.
"The European Parliament should make a priority of democratic control of police forces in Europe," Ndiaye said, adding that it would be a very good idea to issue some guidelines to democratize relations between the police and the population in Europe.
Member of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, in her turn, said that police should be present during protests to protect and not shoot. The lawmaker also said that such direct discrimination in Europe should end. In particular, Hautala referred to a Danish law submitting people living in an ethnically profiled residential area to different standards of human rights.
"We need to address the EU situation, we need an EU framework for national strategies, for the social inclusion of ethnic minorities. We need to collect equality data ... and the EU Council should unblock the anti-discrimination horizontal directive," Hautala added.
The lawmaker also proposed holding a European anti-racism summit on combating structural discrimination in Europe.
Floyd died in the US state of Minnesota on May 25. A video of the arrest showed a white police officer pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes while the African American man was kept handcuffed on his stomach, repeatedly saying he could not breathe. The incident has sparked protests against police violence and racism in various cities across the US and in other countries.