On February 10, 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, a wihte man and self-described "anti-theist" shot and killed Razan Abu-Salha (19), Yusor Abu-Salha (21), and Deah Barakat (23) in their home at point-blank range. On Feburary 13, the NLG joined 149 civil rights and faith organizations in calling for the initiation of a federal hate crime investigation in a letter initiated by Muslim Advocates to Attorney General Eric Holder.
On February 4, 2015, the NLG sent this letter to Bloomington, MN City Attorney Sandra H Johnson, calling for the "immediate dismissal of all criminal charges and other retributive actions" against the 10 activists arrested on December 20, 2014 at a peaceful #BlackLivesMatter event at the Mall of America.
The legal community has publicly stepped up to provide direct support to protesters against police violence, and has recently begun to take direct action in the streets as an expression of solidarity.
The NLG joined the Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, American Muslims for Palestine, and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network in filing this brief asking the Washington Supreme Court to uphold lower court decisions dismissing a lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op board members for deciding to boycott Israeli goods as part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).
Recently, the NLG rapidly increased their capacity to provide legal support in Ferguson, marshaling teams of lawyers, legal workers and law students, and is preparing for the continued need for volunteers and resources.
The National Lawyers Guild had legal observers on the ground in Ferguson to monitor protests against the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. They were also present to help with jail support for community residents. But, while working, four of the NLG’s observers fell victim to the police occupation they were trying to help Ferguson fight and were arrested.
A federal lawsuit filed by local activist Antonio Buehler by NLG Texoma RVP Daphne Silverman against the Austin Police Department has cleared a hurdle as a U.S. magistrate judge this week upheld his constitutional right to photograph and film police officers.
After a setback last week, where the Supreme Court refused to intervene to prevent the DOJ from forcing New York Times reporter James Risen from testifying against a source, several First Amendment groups are calling for Congress to rush to pass a law to make sure he and future reporters aren't forced to testify.