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For Immediate Release
June 3, 2020

 

JOINT STATEMENT FROM FEDERAL DEFENDERS

ON THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD


The moral arc of the universe, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 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
Anthony Martinez
Federal Public Defender
Western District of North Carolina
Scott Wendelsdorf
Executive Director
Western District of Kentucky
Carlos Williams
Executive Director
Southern District of Alabama
Deborah Williams
Federal Public Defender
Southern District of Ohio
Rebecca Hudsmith
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Louisiana
Jon M. Sands
Federal Public Defender
District of Arizona
Susan Otto
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Oklahoma
James Wyda
Federal Public Defender
District of Maryland
Bruce Eddy
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Arkansas
Leigh Skipper
Executive Director
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Miriam Conrad
Federal Public Defender Districts of
Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Rhode Island
Heather E. Williams
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of California
Parks Small
Federal Public Defender
District of South Carolina
Sharon Turek
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Michigan
Kathryn Nester
Executive Director
Southern District of California
Jason Tupman
Federal Public Defender
Districts of North & South Dakota
Anthony Gallagher
Executive Director
District of Montana
Terence S. Ward
Federal Public Defender
District of Connecticut
Henry Martin
Federal Public Defender
Middle District of Tennessee
Rene L. Valladares
Federal Public Defender
District of Nevada
A.J. Kramer
Federal Public Defender
District of Columbia
G. Patrick Black
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of Texas
Stephen P. McCue
Federal Public Defender
District of New Mexico
Michael Caruso
Federal Public Defender
Southern District of Florida
Marjorie A. Meyers
Federal Public Defender
Southern District of Texas
David Patton
Executive Director
Southern & Eastern Districts of New York
Stephanie Kearns
Executive Director
Northern District of Georgia
Scott Wilson
Federal Public Defender
District of Utah
G. Alan DuBois
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of North Carolina
Peter Wolff
Federal Public Defender
District of Hawaii
Matthew Campbell
Federal Public Defender
District of Virgin Islands
Stephen C. Newman
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of Ohio
Thomas W. Patton
Federal Public Defender
Central District of Illinois
Juval Scott
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Virginia
Julia L. O'Connell
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of Oklahoma
Stephen R. Welby
Federal Public Defender
Southern District of Illinois
Michael Filipovic
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Washington
Lisa Hay
Federal Public Defender
District of Oregon
Monica Foster
Executive Director
Southern District of Indiana
Kevin Butler
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of Alabama
Heidi Freese
Federal Public Defender
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Melody Brannon
Federal Public Defender
District of Kansas
Jamie McGrady
Federal Public Defender
District of Alaska
Eric Vos
Federal Public Defender
District of Puerto Rico
Claude Kelly
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of Louisiana
Lisa Peters
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of Arkansas
Lisa Freeland
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Pennsylvania
David Beneman
Federal Public Defender
District of Maine
Amy Karlin
Interim Federal Public Defender
Central District of California
Elizabeth Ford
Executive Director
Eastern District of Tennessee
Katherian Roe
Federal Public Defender
District of Minnesota
Steven G. Kalar
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of California
Doris Randle-Holt
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Tennessee
Lee Lawless
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of Missouri
Virginia Grady
Federal Public Defender
Districts of Colorado & Wyoming
Jason Hawkins
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of Texas
Omodare Jupiter
Federal Public Defender
Northern & Southern Districts of Mississippi
Edson Bostic
Federal Public Defender
District of Delaware
Henry Martin
Federal Public Defender
Middle District of Tennessee
Madeline Cardarella
Federal Public Defender
Western District of Missouri
Randolph P. Murrell
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of Florida
Michael L. Desautels
Federal Public Defender
District of Vermont
David Stickman
Federal Public Defender
District of Nebraska
Christina Hunt
Executive Director
Middle District of Georgia
Geremy Kamens
Federal Public Defender
Eastern District of Virginia
Richard Coughlin
Federal Public Defender
District of New Jersey
John Gorman
Federal Public Defender
District of Guam
Andrea K. George
Executive Director
Eastern District of Washington
Lisa Bellew-Peebles
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of New York
Samuel Richard Rubin
Executive Director
District of Idaho
BrianJ. Kornbrath
Federal Public Defender
Northern District of West Virginia
Marianne Mariano
Federal Public Defender
Western District of New York
John Murphy
Executive Director
Northern District of Illinois
Craig Albee
Executive Director
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Louis Allen
Federal Public Defender
Middle District of North Carolina
Brad Hansen
Acting Federal Public Defender
Districts of Northern & Southern Iowa
 

 

 

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