Statement on the Murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and So Many Othersjunio 2, 2020
Legal Aid at Work has fought for decades to vindicate the civil rights of communities of color generally and Black people in particular. Along with hundreds of millions of Americans, we grieve the violent deaths of George Floyd, an African-American man whom Minneapolis police officers killed on May 25, 2020, and Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman killed by police officers in her own home on March 13, 2020.
Their deaths represent tragic acts of unconscionable brutality and leave us questioning what kind of country we are. These most recent acts of cold-blooded racism, tinged by smugness and indifference, are wrenching, yet all too familiar. Once again, we see on display the centuries-old, structural oppression of Black people perpetuated across our nation’s primary institutions.
Ingrained, systemic racism has been central to our country’s history and prosperity, and has played—indeed, continues to play—an animating role in nourishing vast inequality across all sectors—education, financial, social, political, environmental, health, welfare and access to justice. We know the price paid is cumulative over generations and economic consequences preying on communities of color are stark.
We must take action against this festering, corrosive evil and come together to eliminate it—root and branch.
As Dr. King memorably said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” We all must stop and listen to the anger, despair and anguish of the protesters, and those on whose behalf they speak. And we must heed their cry for change.
Legal Aid at Work stands in solidarity with the countless individuals and institutions across our country who have denounced these latest, horrifying instances of embedded institutional racism. We join with them in their urgent plea that justice finally be done. And we will do our part to ensure that it is.
Black lives matter.
– Legal Aid at Work