FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Last week, the NLG sent a letter to President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland—endorsed by a total of 90 organizations and signed by a total of 4600+ individuals—urging them to dismiss the federal charges against more than 350 anti-racist protesters who participated in last year’s mass demonstrations for Black lives.
The undersigned 90 organizations and 4,631 individuals (see enclosed) are writing to call on you to drop the more than 350 federal cases brought against by Black Lives Matter protesters by the previous administration. The historic demonstrations in response to the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have continued an important conversation about the impact of white supremacy and police brutality on Black people in the United States. Across the country in communities large and small, millions of people put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic to demand an end to institutional racism and police violence.
Many of the cases brought by former Attorney General William Barr, under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, amount to little more than prosecutorial overreach and are not a matter of protecting public safety. These prosecutions were intended to stifle dissent and protect white supremacy. Maintaining and advancing these prosecutions in federal court under your administration would amount to little more than perpetuating the racism that you repeatedly spoke out against on the campaign trail and during your confirmation hearings, respectively.
It is essential that your administration, including the Department of Justice, take expedient action to dismiss the federal charges against all Black Lives Matter protesters.
In addition to these federal charges, about 13,600 people face state charges for participation in last year’s demonstrations, according to FBI documents obtained by The Prosecution Project. For more information on ongoing #DropTheCharges campaigns in various municipalities, follow the Drop The Charges Coalition.
The National Lawyers Guild was formed in 1937 as the first national, racially integrated bar association in the U.S. to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human, and civil rights.
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