Over the past few weeks, our nation has been confronted with issues of racial bias and police brutality that have existed well before the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Travon Martin, or Freddie Gray. Now more than ever, we are being confronted with several truths that must be acknowledged in order for us to move forward. Racial bias and systemic racism continue and these biases undermine the public’s confidence in our judicial system.
The Baltimore County Bar Association stands for justice and fairness for all people in our community. In order for our justice system to work, everyone must be treated fairly and all laws must be applied equitably. To achieve racial equality, we must work to end systemic racism. The legal community has a long history of fighting for civil rights and bringing about positive change; but we must not forget that the legal system also has been used as a tool of oppression. We must ensure that our members know that the Baltimore County Bar Association stands along with them and are committed to implementing necessary change.
The Baltimore County Bar Association believes that Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with all members, coworkers, and clients, including persons of color. We stand in solidarity with all who demand justice and an end to police violence. We stand against racist rhetoric and actions.
We also support those individuals gathering across the country in peaceful protests. As individuals throughout America gather in a unified voice to seek systematic change to eliminate racism, promote equality, and end the use of undue and excessive force by law enforcement officers, the BCBA supports those individuals exercising their First Amendment rights. We are vehemently opposed to the use of force to disperse peaceful protestors.
We acknowledge the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers, State’s Attorneys, and judicial officers who are performing their jobs with honor, fairness, and integrity. Now is the time for us to work together with those allies to ensure accountability across the board. And, we insist that in every instance, the rule of law prevails.
The Baltimore County Bar Association needs your help as we confront these issues. Earlier this year, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed to promote diversity amongst our members, within our community, and throughout our profession. This is one step BCBA has taken towards the commitment for change. As lawyers, we are uniquely suited to utilize our skills and expertise towards furthering justice and equality. We do this by providing legal services to individuals in need and our pro bono committee assists with coordination of pro bono opportunities. We urge anyone interested in serving on either committee to contact Rachel Ruocco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Baltimore County Bar Association will continue to work for justice and equality for all of people. We welcome your assistance in this noble and necessary effort.