An Ulster peer has said that American policemen appear to have a “shoot to kill policy” and accused US law enforcement officers is guilty of “outrageous behaviour”.
Lord Kilcooney said that the recent fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown was evidence of a serious problem in US policing.
The former Ulster Unionist deputy leader was himself shot and injured by the IRA in 1972.
The shooting of Mr Brown, 18, led to sustained protests in Ferguson, Missouri, with some demonstrations descending into riots.
The National Guard was deployed for a period amid a wave of anger at the shooting of the unarmed black teenager by a white officer.
In a letter to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Lord Kilclooney said: “Too often we see on a regular basis the outrageous behaviour of policing across the USA - a police service which is inconsistent with a liberal democracy.
“The news this week that in Henderson, an overwhelming black community, policing is by 50 white police and only three black policemen is the same as if 50 Orangemen policed the Falls Road and 50 republicans policed Sandy Row.”
Lord Kilclooney, who as minister for state for home affairs in the old Stormont Parliament had responsibility for law and order, added: “In addition, from time to time, including once again this week, USA policemen have been shooting dead unarmed civilians - a shoot to kill policy seems to prevail within the USA police service.
“Nor do I forget how New York policemen associated themselves with the IRA at the annual parade in Co Donegal.”
A grand jury is considering evidence in the case. A US government investigation is also under way.
On Sunday protesters marched peacefully as calm prevailed for a fourth day in Ferguson. Several community activists walked side-by-side with police officers in uniform down one of the main streets that had been filled with armoured vehicles and officers.