Joint Statement From Federal Defenders On The Killing Of George Floyd on June 3, 2020

JOINT STATEMENT FROM FEDERAL DEFENDERS ON THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD

The moral arc of the universe, as D r. Martin Luther King J r. said, bends towards justice. And yet, we all saw that arc snap again under a police officer's white knee on George Floyd's Black neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. That knee has been placed on too many Black necks before and too often without repercussions.

This time must be different. While we can kneel in solidarity with Mr. Floyd, we also must stand up and demand that racism, overt and implicit, be acknowledged and confronted.

As federal public and community defenders, we represent the overwhelming majority of those charged with crimes in federal court, most of whom are minorities, of all colors and orientations. We have witnessed "wars" on drugs and crime become dog whistles for hate and racism. Intentions to make communities safe are hijacked by other insidious agendas. The war on crime is a new Jim Crow that permeates our criminal justice system. Daily, we see charges that are too harsh, sentences That are too long, and a system that turns a blind eye to oppressive structural racism because it seems to fear "too much justice."

George Floyd died face down, gasping and begging to breathe. It is well beyond time for us all to say, "Enough."

We are better than this; we can be just and empathetic. We can do what is right and what is moral. We can keep communities safe by holding out our hand to help, aware of our own failings and biases.

And in this crucible of anger, we take a breath, and begin to repair the moral arc and bend it back towards justice.

As federal defenders, we stand with many like George Floyd who have been held down and denied their humanity. It is our job, our calling. It is our privilege. For George Floyd and all of our clients, we renew our longstanding commitment to fight daily for equal justice.

Christine Freeman

Executive Director

Middle District of Alabama

Carlos Williams

Executive Director

Southern District of Alabama

Jon M. Sands

Federal Public Defender

District of Arizona

Bruce Eddy

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Arkansas

Heather E. Williams

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of California

Kathryn Nester

Executive Director

Southern District of California

Terence S. Ward

Federal Public Defender

District of Connecticut

A.J. Kramer

Federal Public Defender

District of Columbia

Michael Caruso

Federal Public Defender

Southern District of Florida

Stephanie Kearns

Executive Director

Northern District of Georgia

Peter Wolff

Federal Public Defender

District of Hawaii

Thomas W. Patton

Federal Public Defender

Central District of Illinois

Stephen R. Welby

Federal Public Defender

Southern District of Illinois

Monica Foster

Executive Director

Southern District of Indiana

Melody Brannon

Federal Public Defender

District of Kansas

Claude Kelly

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of Louisiana

Kevin Butler

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of Alabama

Jamie Mc Grady

Federal Public Defender

District of Alaska

Lisa Peters

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of Arkansas

Amy Karlin

Interim Federal Public Defender

Central District of California

Steven G. Kalar

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of California

Virginia Grady

Federal Public Defender

Districts of Colorado & Wyoming

Edson Bostic

Federal Public Defender

District of Delaware

Randolph P. Murrell

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of Florida

Christina Hunt

Executive Director

Middle District of Georgia

John Gorman

Federal Public Defender

District of Guam

Samuel Richard Rubin

Executive Director

District ofldaho

John Murphy

Executive Director

Northern District of Illinois

Brad Hansen

Acting Federal Public Defender

Districts of Northern & Southern Iowa

Scott Wendelsdorf

Executive Director

Western District of Kentucky

Rebecca Hudsmith

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Louisiana

James Wyda

Federal Public Defender

District of Maryland

David Beneman

Federal Public Defender

District of Maine

Katherian Roe

Federal Public Defender

District of Minnesota

Lee Lawless

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of Missouri

Omodare Jupiter

Federal Public Defender

Northern & Southern Districts of Mississippi

Madeline Cardarella

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Missouri

David Stickman

Federal Public D efender

District of Nebraska

Richard Coughlin

Federal Public Defender

District of New Jersey

Lisa Bellew-Peebles

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of New York

Marianne Mariano

Federal Public Defender

Western District of New York

Louis Allen

Federal Public D efender

Middle District of North Carolina

Anthony Martinez

Federal Public Defender

Western District of North Carolina

Deborah Williams

Federal Public Defender

Southern District of Ohio

Susan Otto

Federal Public D efender

Western District of Oklahoma

Leigh Skipper

Executive Director

Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Parks Small

Federal Public D efender

District of South Carolina

Miriam Conrad

Federal Public D efender Districts of

Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Rhode Island

Sharon Turek

Federal Public D efender

Western District of Michigan

Anthony Gallagher

Executive Director

District of Montana

Rene L. Valladares

Federal Public D efender

District of Nevada

Stephen P. McCue

Federal Public Defender

District of New Mexico

David Patton

Executive Director

Southern & Eastern Districts of New York

G. Alan DuBois

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of North Carolina

Stephen C. N ewman

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of Ohio

Julia L. O'Connell

Federal Public D efender

Northern District of Oklahoma

Lisa Hay

Federal Public Defender

District of Oregon

Heidi Freese

Federal Public Defender

Middle District of Pennsylvania

Eric Vos

Federal Public Defender

District of Puerto Rico

Lisa Freeland

Federal Public D efender

Western District of Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Ford

Executive Director

Eastern District of Tennessee

Doris Randle-Holt

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Tennessee

Jason Tupman

Federal Public Defender

Districts of North & South Dakota

Henry Martin

Federal Public D efender

Middle District of Tennessee

G. Patrick Black

Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of Texas

Marjorie A. Meyers

Federal Public D efender

Southern District of Texas

Scott Wilson

Federal Public Defender

District of Utah

Matthew Campbell

Federal Public D efender

District of Virgin Islands

Juval Scott

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Virginia

Michael Filipovic

Federal Public Defender

Western District of Washington

Jason Hawkins

Federal Public Defender

Northern District ofTexas

Maureen Franco

Federal Public D efender

Western District of Texas

Michael L. Desautels

Federal Public D efender

District of Vermont

Geremy Kamens

Federal Public D efender

Eastern District of Virginia

Andrea K. George

Executive Director

Eastern District of Washington

BrianJ. Kornbrath

Federal Public Defender

Northern District of West Virginia

Craig Albee

Executive Director

Eastern District of Wisconsin

2020.06.03-Joint Statement from Federal Defenders.pdf