To Our Community:
Black Lives Matter.
A week has now passed since the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd by police officers. Mr. Floyd’s death comes on the heels of the brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. These murders, along with the killings of Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Stephon Clark, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Trayvon Martin, and Amadou Diallo, are just a few examples of institutional racism and violence perpetrated against Black people, backed by legal authority. And the latest arise in the midst of a pandemic in which Black people are getting sick and dying at disproportionate rates. These deaths at the hands of the police are also clear examples of systemic white supremacy that bestows privilege on white people at the expense of Black people.
The images from Minnesota and elsewhere are terrifying not only because of the senseless and tragic loss of life but also because the murderers are the very people who are supposed to protect and serve the public. But so many Black people have needlessly suffered at the hands of the police throughout the history of this country. The experiences of Representative John Lewis and so many others at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 are still vividly in the public conscience and continue to serve as a beacon to us all to strive for a yet unrealized future where the ugly stain of racial discrimination is vanquished from this country. The current protests also reflect a raw and visceral reaction to continuing and profound racial discrimination in the criminal justice system and to unequal and unjust treatment in education, financial services, housing, and employment. Covid-19, and the anemic government response to the health crisis, has intensified those effects to the breaking point. We share the grief and outrage of those who took to the streets in recent days in New York, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and across the nation, protesting Mr. Floyd’s murder and institutional racism.
The current federal response is reprehensible and harkens back to Alabama in the early 1960’s, when the police routinely terrorized peaceful protesters who were fighting for the most basic of rights for African Americans - rights that most Americans consider inviolable today. Some of the acts of law enforcement over the past week will be viewed by future generations as an unforgivable stain on our nation’s history and as a tragedy of epic proportions.
Outten & Golden is a public interest law firm that has a long and proud history of combating racial discrimination in the workplace both for individuals and in the class-action context. We are profoundly committed to continuing to support the Black community during this time of incredible turmoil.
Outten & Golden LLP