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June 02, 2020

Philadelphia Bar Association Statement on George Floyd's Death

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.) has issued the following statement on George Floyd's death:

"Ahmaud Arbery… Breonna Taylor… George Floyd… These are names that were not known to the American public until very recently. These were individuals who were not famous, nor were they infamous. They were normal people who led normal lives, one a 25 year old former high school football star living with his mother, one a 26 year old EMT, and one a 48 year old security guard. They shared only two things: they were each black, and they each died violently at the hands of others.

"We are saddened by the loss of these lives and disgusted by the actions of the perpetrators. Racism, bigotry and violence are toxins infecting all of society. We are firm in our belief that a civilized society cannot allow these poisons to take over, or they will destroy the very society that has been built over almost 250 years in America.

"We believe that it is the responsibility of those who lead a society, those who make the laws of a society, and those who enforce the laws to act with consistency, restraint and humanity.

"As lawyers we are, and must be, agents for change. At the same time, we are charged with defending the Rule of Law, and fighting for equal access to justice.

"If we, and our elected leaders do not perform our obligations, we are derelict. We will continue to fight for the rights of individuals, we will continue to fight for justice for the victims of these senseless acts of violence and we will continue to fight for the rights of those who speak out peacefully.

"We are the Philadelphia Bar Association; we believe in equal access to justice. But we also believe that the color of one’s skin should not deprive someone of the right to an expectation of life."

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