End Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Youth

End Racism and Discrimination

End Homelessness Now

Expand and Protect Social Security

Support Labor, Jobs for All

The People's Budget

Gender-Neutral Treatment - The Equal Rights Amendment

Saturday, 02 May 2015 00:00

Law school dean: If you help Freddie Gray protesters in Baltimore, you can defer an exam

Written by Susan Svrluga | The Washington Post
A protestor holds a sign outside of Baltimore’s City Hall before a march for Freddie Gray, Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. A protestor holds a sign outside of Baltimore’s City Hall before a march for Freddie Gray, Thursday, April 23, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The dean of the law school at the University of the District of Columbia urged students to take part in protests in Baltimore, even offering to defer an exam for those who help people on the street with legal advice.

Dean Shelley Broderick of the David A. Clarke School of Law told students that community and police relations “is the civil rights issue of our time,” and that law school leaders want students to be part of the “energy and commitment” of the protests.

Some of that energy has taken an extremely ugly turn in recent days.

About 200 people have been arrested in Baltimore this week, after mobs set cars on fire, smashed windows, looted stores and threw bricks at police officers. Schools and businesses shut down, a state of emergency was declared and Humvees lumbered through the city’s streets.

The conflict started after Freddie Gray died of a spinal injury while in police custody, triggering a local outburst of the anger that has been simmering nationally for many people over race relations and policing.

Here is the dean’s letter in full:

Dear Students,

We have been watching the news from Baltimore and know that it is having a profound effect on many in the Law School community.   As John Lewis said earlier this week, community/police relations is the civil rights issue of this time.  Across this Nation, for nearly a year, the concerns of communities of color about persistent and long standing police abuse, have been reflected in demonstrations and public debate.   The energy and commitment of those involved in the movement is inspiring and we want the Law School to be part of it.

The situation in Baltimore is of particular concern.  Not only is Baltimore just 30 miles up the road, but many members of our community have roots in the City.  It is important that we not ignore what is happening to our neighbors.   Several students have come to the Deans with a request that they be permitted to defer an exam so that they can provide legal observer and other assistance to those who have taken to the streets to exercise their First Amendment rights and to address these serious issues.

We would like to support this activism.   To that end, if any student wishes to participate in legal support for the demonstrations, we will defer one exam until May 11.   To do so, you need to connect with one of the legal assistance organizations, develop a plan for the assistance you intend to provide and get this information to Dean Steward before your exam.   If you are having difficulty in identifying a group to work with, please let me know and we can assist you.  In addition, because these issues affect everyone at the Law School, we would be pleased to support a student organized teach-in.   A community event that brings us together around these issues and promotes mutual support is important during these challenging times.

The police accountability movement needs and will continue to need the best lawyers that we can train.   It is our aspiration that you become the future of the legal support for the most important cases of the next generation.  It is critical that, while we pay attention to what is going on today, that we not lose sight of the essential role you will play once you pass the bar.  We need to invest in you to be prepared to play that role.   That is our shared commitment.

Link to original article from The Washington Post

Read 3496 times

Latest Economic and Social Justice News

  • 1

Willie Nelson - Keeping the Postal Service Alive

Email President Obama Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

Featured News

  • Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Act as 'Human Shields' for Water Protectors +

    As tensions grow in North Dakota, with multiple eviction orders facing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their battle against Read More
  • Michigan Fights To Avoid Delivering Water To Flint Residents +

    The ongoing crisis has left the city without safe drinking water for over two years, but the state claims water Read More
  • The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election +

    Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, Read More
  • BREAKING: Cop Who Shot Keith Scott on Video Will Not Be Charged +

    The Charlotte police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott will not be charged. In a news conference on Wednesday, R. Andrew Read More
  • Army Corps Says It Won’t Forcibly Evict Standing Rock Water Protectors, But Refuse To Elaborate +

    In a follow-up of its letter to leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, the U.S. Read More
  • DAPL Investors Getting Antsy: If Pipeline Doesn’t Move Oil by January First the Contract EXPIRES +

    Though water protectors have held their ground at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline for months now, they need Read More
  • WV Supreme Court: No Pipeline Surveys for Private Gain +

    West Virginia property owners won an important case at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday when that Read More
  • Clinton Campaign Joins Jill Stein’s Recount Of Votes In Wisconsin +

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Saturday announced they would participate in former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount of the Read More
  • Sioux Tribe Leader Responds to Army Corps Eviction Letter With Ominous Warning to US Gov’t +

    In response to the altogether shocking announcement the Army Corps of Engineers will be evicting water protectors from the Oceti Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22

Economic and Social Justice Calls

  • 5-4-2016 Economic and Social Justice Call
    The team explores the concept, economic theories and realities of achieving Full Employment in the current economy. Guests include Conor Williams, the secretary of the Transitional Jobs Collaborative in Milwaukee and Michael Darner, Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  • 02-03-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    Listen to this month's call led by Jim Carpenter as we discuss the state of our current economy, the impact of poor economic choices, and the other factors that play into the declining situation around the country, and in the world in this open and guided conversation.
  • 01-06-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    PDAction Board Member Donald Whitehead, and former Ex. Dir. of the Coalition for the Homeless leads the discussion on homelessness, with input from Joel Segal, PDAmerica founding member and National Director of the Justice Action Mobilization Network. Special focus is given to the housing crisis, the role of the banks, programs used by other countries to alleviate the problem, as well as the fact that women are the most adversely affected by this issue. H Con Res 98 - Resolve to Eliminate Homelessness - has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and is endorsed on this call.