LOS ANGELES, CA (June 1, 2020)
– The John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles (“Langston Bar Association”) offers sincere condolences to the family of George Floyd following his murder on May 25th, 2020. As witnessed by the world on videotape, George Floyd spent his last breath pleading for his life as a white police officer callously knelt on his neck and refused to stop even after Mr. Floyd was unconscious, while other officers watched. These officers showed a clear disregard for Mr. Floyd’s life. No one deserves to die in this way.
This incident is compounded by the last few weeks, where we have seen the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, witnessed the threats made against Christian Cooper, and learned of the police involved shooting death of Breonna Taylor. While these incidents are exposed because of video or social media, we know there are countless other cases that do not make the news. Others whose names do not get hashtags. We are tired, we are angry, we are frustrated.
Given the Langston Bar Association’s mission, to promote the administration of justice in the Black community and the community at large, we stand with millions of outraged people across our country against the repeated killings of Black people, the lack of responsiveness by state and local officials, and President Trump’s call for violence against those demanding justice for Mr. Floyd’s death. We need to do more than condemn the violence; we need the killing to stop.
For too long in the United States, we have seen police officers perpetuate violence against Black people. We have seen the repeated failures of local prosecutors, judges, and juries, to hold these officers responsible for their abuses of power. It is absolutely imperative that law enforcement officers and district attorneys investigate, arrest, and prosecute officers who violate the rights of the people who live in the communities they are charged to serve. We demand accountability and justice.
While the four officers at the scene were immediately fired, we stand with Floyd’s family, the Floyd family’s attorney Benjamin Crump, and others in demanding local and federal transparent and independent investigations and prosecution of all four officers’ involvement in the killing of George Floyd.
Moreover, the police must stop responding to peaceful protests with more violence. Police are sworn to protect everyone in the community, and punishing peaceful protesters is another gross abuse of constitutional and human rights.
We stand resolutely against hatred, racial oppression, racism, inequality, and violence against Black people. We are committed to using our power and influence to dismantle systemic racism, support community members impacted by oppressive systems, and fight for justice for all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of George Floyd.