The United States is defending its record before the U.N.'s main human rights body, acknowledging concerns over the excessive use of force by law-enforcement officials.

The U.S. faced the Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday for the body's second review of its record. The first was in 2010.

U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper said he is "proud of our country's record" but "America never makes a claim of being perfect."

Justice Department official James Cadogan noted that recent high-profile cases of officers killing unarmed black residents have renewed a debate about even-handed justice.

He said that "these events challenge us to do better and to work harder for progress through both dialogue and action," and noted that the government has the authority to prosecute officials who wilfully use excessive force.