EBCLC Statement About the Killing of Michael Brown and the Protests in Ferguson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The lawyers and advocates of the East Bay Community Law Center stand in solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson. Every day we see injustice. Every day, our clients are subjected to acts of racism and oppression. They face discrimination when they are unable to get jobs because of past criminal records, when they are denied educational opportunities, public benefits and housing, when they suffer from AIDS and face deportation, when their children are taken away, and when they are criminally prosecuted for being poor. We listen to our clients. We see what they face. Knowing that, the killing of Mike Brown is shocking and yet not surprising. The protests in Ferguson reflect the legal system’s failure to protect against, and address, decades of racial injustice.

Every day we work with historic residents of communities who are being priced out of their neighborhoods due to gentrification.

Every day we see students of color suspended at three times the rate of their white counterparts.

Every day we see clients living at the whim of part-time scheduling, minimum wage jobs and stark economic inequality.

Every day we work with young people facing criminal charges in a justice system in which there are more African-Americans under correctional control than were enslaved before the Civil War and in which one in three African-American men will spend time behind bars in their lifetime.

Every day we see health disparities and that the life expectancy for African-American men in Alameda County is 8.6 years less than the county average.

Every day we see clients denied jobs because of a past arrest or conviction unrelated to the job function, a practice that unfairly excludes African-American and Latino job applicants at a rate two to three times higher than white applicants.

Every day we talk with immigrants who have fled violence in their home countries only to face blatant racism in the United States.

Every day we see families denied public benefits simply because a new child is born.

Every day we see gross injustice. Change is not coming soon enough. Something new has to be tried. For these reasons, we stand in solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson as we all demand accountability, change and justice.

Download PDF of this Statement here.

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