NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BLACK LAWYERS

George Floyd

Born: October 14, 1973  -  Murdered: May 25, 2020

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AN OPEN LETTER REGARDING

.

.April 20, 2021

The Derek Chauvin Murder Trial & Verdict

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ADJOA A. AIYETORO

13716 New Hampshire Avenue, #227

Silver Spring, MD 20904

aaaiyetoro@ualr.edu

 

April 24, 2021

The Honorable Keith Ellison

Minnesota Attorney General

445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400

St. Paul, MN 55101

 

Dear Keith,

Congratulations on your success in the hard-fought and well designed and implemented prosecution of Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.  Your commitment to ending police crimes, including physical violence and murder, against Black people, has been consistent since you became an attorney. 

 

I describe this commitment as one to ending the legacy of slavery – a legacy that includes rampant and unfettered violence against Black people.  It is reflected in your lawyering and your work in Minnesota, including your early involvement and leadership in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter of the National Conference of Black Lawyers.

The guilty verdicts on all charges brought against Chauvin are a testament to your accurate charging of Chauvin, refusing to settle on the original charges brought by the county prosecutor which were inconsistent with the video evidence we saw in social media feeds and that your team presented as evidence in the trial. 

 

It was also a result of your refusal to continue the travesty of justice engaged in by most prosecutors across the country who at best respond to police murders of Black people with a slap on the wrist and at worse deny the actions of the police violate the law.  This usual response by state prosecutors continues the legal devaluation of Black lives. 

You and your team prosecuted this case with integrity and skill, refusing to fall into the historic trap of devaluing human life. 

 

I am proud to know you. 

 

I am proud to see the correct application of the law that uplifted the humanity of George Floyd, and therefore, the humanity of us all.

 

Your prosecution of this case demonstrates how the law should be practiced and applied if we have any chance of balancing the scales of justice.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Adjoa A. Aiyetoro

Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas

William H. Bowen School of Law

 

Former Executive Director

National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL)

 

--

Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, J.D.
Professor of Law Emerita

UALR William H. Bowen School of Law

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The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) is an American association, formed in 1968, to offer legal assistance to black civil rights activists. NCBL is made up of judgeslaw studentslawyers, legal activists, legal workers, and scholars.

Noted clients included Angela DavisAssata Shakur, the Attica Brothers, Geronimo PrattMumia Abu-JamalBen Chavis, and the Wilmington Ten. The organization lobbied against apartheid in South Africa.

 

NCBL expanded from African-American oppression to help other groups in countries like Northern Ireland, the Palestinian territoriesCubaNicaraguaGuyanaGrenada, and throughout Southern Africa.

 

Our mission is: "To protect human rights, to achieve self-determination of Africa and African Communities and to work in coalition to assist in ending the oppression of all peoples."

 

NCBL is a bar association whose primary focus is on the welfare of the Black community. 

 

We are the legal arm of the Movement for Black Liberation.

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