We Charge Genocide

Once the classic method of lynching was the rope. Now it is the policeman’s bullet.

We Charge Genocide UN Report, 2014

We Charge Genocide is a grassroots, inter-generational, volunteer effort to center the voices and experiences of young people disproportionately targeted by police and impacted by police violence, in Chicago. We offer a vehicle for necessary organizing to resist police violence in Chicago, aimed at social transformation. The name, We Charge Genocide, comes from a petition filed to the United Nations in 1951 that documented 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses across the United States, mostly by the local police. Today, police violence in Chicago continues to violate human rights principles—seen in the daily harassment, abuse, and targeting of youth of color by Chicago police.

Following the legacy of our name, We Charge Genocide has submitted a report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, "Police Violence Against Chicago’s Youth of Color." The report reveals the disturbing and intolerable truth that police officers regularly engage in torture. Specifically, the Chicago Police Department is in violation of Articles 2, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 of the Convention of Torture, through the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of youth of color in Chicago.

To many an American the police are the government, certainly its most visible representative.

Our report will be presented to the Committee as part of their upcoming 53rd session, during which the United States will be under review. Our delegation will urge the Committee to recognize the Chicago Police Department’s treatment of young people of color as torture; suggest federal intervention; and demand a response from the Chicago Police Department regarding how its plans to end this treatment and compensate the communities impacted by police violence. We also aim to draw international attention to our organizing efforts, to further energize and support our various, local, ongoing efforts to enact police accountability.

Evidence suggests that the killing of Negroes has become police policy in the United States...police policy is the most practical expression of government policy

We Charge Genocide Petition, 1951

This multi-media site augments and extends our case against the Chicago Police Department for its torture and mistreatment of youth of color in Chicago. Here you will find individual stories of victims and survivors of Chicago police violence. You will be able to understand the scope and the impact of this violence by exploring maps, reading testimonies and putting faces to the numbers. Both the report and site are unique and are the result of dozens of hours of work by Chicago residents who have volunteered their time, because they believe that police violence in Chicago must end now.

-Mariame Kaba

We are always unsafe, living in our skin, in this country. It’s a permanent condition.