THE EARL B. GILLIAM BAR ASSOCIATION SENDS ITS CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF MICHAEL BROWN IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI AND SUPPORTS A FULL INVESTIGATION INTO HIS DEATH
SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2014 – The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association (“EBGBA”) is saddened and angered over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri and the resulting investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. As an organization committed to social justice and the protection of the rights of African-Americans and all Americans, we are deeply troubled by the unrest and violence that occurred during the ensuing protests in Ferguson and the unjust mistreatment of citizens and journalists exercising their constitutional right to free speech.
As Brown was recently laid to rest, our thoughts and prayers are with Brown’s family and friends. The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association stands with the National Bar Association, the NAACP, and dozens of other civil rights organizations in their efforts in calling for a full and open investigation into Brown’s death and their calls for law enforcement agencies across the nation to re-evaluate their use of force practices. Together we call for: 1) a complete and transparent federal investigation into the shooting death of Brown; 2) a comprehensive federal review and reporting of all police killings throughout the nation of unarmed people of color; and 3) the required use by police officers of body-worn cameras (BWC) to record police-civilian interactions in order to future ensure transparency and accountability in police investigations.
This issue is bigger than just race. It is about the human dignity and freedom to which all people in the United States are entitled. As a society, we must recognize the larger human rights context of the issues in Ferguson, MO; New York City, NY; Los Angeles, CA; and Dayton, Ohio. We must also acknowledge the importance of protecting the due process and civil rights of every American.
In San Diego, The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association is committed to ensuring that the human dignity of all of our residents, regardless of race, is respected and protected. The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association is working with San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman to ensure that racial profiling and any improper race-based practices are eliminated here in San Diego. Together with San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association recently worked with San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman to release a racial profiling public service announcement that confirmed the Police Department’s zero tolerance policy against racial profiling and discourteous treatment and urged members of the community to report any allegations of improper treatment. A dedicated and confidential hotline exists to receive these reports: (619) 531-2672.
“It is important that we continue to work with law enforcement locally to ensure fair and impartial treatment for all members of the San Diego community. Together, we must work for the transparency and accountability in our law enforcement agencies necessary to ensure that our justice system is truly just,” said Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association President Omar Passons.