July 07, 2020

Standing Firm and Speaking Up for Justice and Equality

This statement represents the views of Fred Ury, Chair of the Center’s Coordinating Committee, and Teresa Schmid, Center Director.  It is not is not an official statement of the ABA.  Please see the statement of ABA President Judy Perry Martinez, which decries violence against George Floyd and the Black community.

The total disregard for the lives of Black men and women has been happening right in front of our eyes for far too long. An inflection point occurred with the death of George Floyd.  The policeman’s knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds was shocking.   Even more shocking, was the presence of other officers who participated, standing there, turning a blind eye, and being silent. To be silent is to be complicit. So, today, we speak out.  

We refuse to accept the current situation where the color of a person’s skin or the ZIP code in which a person is born predicts wretched outcomes when fighting a pandemic, going for a jog, encountering police, or seeking justice.

Black lives matter to us.

We stand firmly with all people exercising their First Amendment right demanding change. And to further pursue justice and equality, we are asking all states to adopt, in its entirety, ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g), prohibiting discrimination and harassment in conduct related to the practice of law.