In the United States, the cops and the courts are essentially the same thing. Witness Ferguson, Missouri, 2014, a typical but nonetheless shocking systemic failure of justice—starting with the execution of an unarmed 18 year old Black man by a police officer, escalating into a secret trial manufactured to protect the killer by a cop-loving prosecutor1, culminating in a military exercise in the modern police state with more felony prosecutions than any protest scenario in the last 20 years.
It is deeply troubling to learn about the deployment in Ferguson and surrounding areas of so-called “Oath Keepers,” predominantly white men armed with automatic assault weapons and positioned near protest activity mainly led by Black youth.
St. Louis County is marking the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown by charging hundreds of people arrested by the St. Louis County Police in protest actions that occurred since August of 2014. The State Prosecuting Attorney has refused to pursue these charges. The City of Ferguson, where most incidents occurred, has not pursued charges.
St. Louis County has declared a state of emergency in response to the protests and police officers have targeted activists with tear gas and arrests. Among those arrested and in custody today are Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Abi Hassen (former Mass Defense Coordinator of the NLG and Member of Black Movement Law Project) and many other activists and TUPOCC members.
NEW YORK -- In light of the Department of Justice’s recent scathing report on law enforcement practices in Ferguson, MO, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the NLG, and the NLG Anti-Racism Committee (ARC), join communities impacted by police violence to condemn the actions of the Ferguson Police Department and call for increased oversight and accountability for law enforcement systems nationwide.
- #BlackLivesMatter: NLG stands in solidarity with movement against racist police violence (p. 8-12)
- St. Louis NLG files lawsuit to oust Ferguson prosecutor (p. 9)
- NLG-Mass. galvanizes legal community for state-wide #BlackLivesMatter day of action (p. 11)
- The Guild supports Walmart employees’ fight for a living wage (p. 5)
- National Office launches first-of-its-kind Radical Law Student Manual (p. 14)
- Meet the 2015 NLG Haywood Burns Fellows (p. 15)