Between Friday and Sunday, more than 170 non-violent protesters were arrested, and dozens documented incidents of civil and constitutional violations including excessive use of force and unlawful infringement on First Amendment rights. “Over the past few days, law enforcement in Baton Rouge have escalated every interaction with the public civilian population, creating a more dangerous environment for everyone,” says May T. Nguyen, Secretary of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
CLEVELAND, OHIO ― This week, the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (Ohio NLG) and the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP received over a dozen reports of door knocks at the homes of local activists and community members by law enforcement officials with the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation's’ Cleveland Field Office, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and Cleveland Division of Police.
SEATTLE -- It was an annual Seattle tradition that was disrupted last year when protesters drowned out the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Westlake Center. Seattle Police have said they’ll be ready to make arrests if things get out of hand. On Tuesday afternoon, demonstrators called on SPD to refrain from using violence.
The NLG, American Association of Jurists, and International Association of Democratic Lawyers have sent a letter to Foreign Policy in response to Venezuela's right-wing leader Leopoldo López's request that the magazine retract or publish a rebuttal to Roberto Lovato's recent piece, “The Making of Leopoldo López”. Read the full letter to Foreign Policy below.
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.
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.