Novelist Marlon James, who won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his book A Brief History of Seven Killings, told an audience in Paris on Sunday that the U.S. has a “third world police” that carries out “state sanctioned violence” against African Americans.
“What people like me find alarming is there is almost state-sanctioned violence in America, particularly with the police,” said James, the Guardian reports. “America has developed a weird kind of third world police, which horrifies people like me and my friends from Kenya or Nigeria.”
James was born in Jamaica and moved to the U.S. to teach and write, and both of his parents were police officers in Jamaica. His prizewinning novel chronicled the Prize WinningJame history of an assassination attempt on Bob Marley and he has said his next book will be an African Game of Thrones.
“The whole idea that you are beyond the law you are serving and protecting, and that killing people will not have consequences, is something that we who migrated to America thought we had got away from,” he said. “This sort of unquestioned authority, straight up killing people is why Black Lives Matter happened.”
James had been speaking at the literary event Festival America.