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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                
National Bar Association
December 3, 2014 

 

communications@nationalbar.org
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THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO THE GRAND JURY’S DECISION NOT TO INDICT OFFICER DANIEL PANTALEO IN THE CHOKEHOLD DEATH OF ERIC GARNER
 

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Bar Association is questioning a Staten Island Grand Jury, considering the evidence presented before them, could reach the conclusion not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a New York Police Officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

On July 17, 2014, a video recorded by a bystander shows Officer Pantaleo placing a chokehold around Garner's neck with his arm, while trying to restrain Garner with other officers. In the video, once he was restrained on the ground during the arrest, Garner can be heard telling officers, "I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” 

"Today's decision by the Grand Jury brings a great level of disappointment, as justice for yet another black unarmed male goes unanswered," stated Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association. "Within a week, this country has now been devastated with the lack of addressing issues of inequality and racial bias in policing, the justice system, and violence against members of minority communities,” says President Meanes. 

The National Bar Association renews it call for the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue federal charges against Officer Pantaleo. “We will continue to fight for justice for Eric Garner and his family,” stated President Meanes.

Since
Garner’s death, the National Bar Association has pushed for the passages of local, state and federal legislation related to: 
  1. Requiring body and dash cameras;
  2. Stricter mental health testing and diversity training;
  3. Add definition to the terms excessive and elevation of force;
  4. Enact legislation making it a felony for a police officer to fail to report an officer engaged in police brutality.
In addition, the National Bar Association has hosted Town Hall meetings which were aimed to inform attendees of their Fourth Amendment (Search & Seizure) constitutional rights, whether it is legal to record police activity, and how citizens should behave/respond if and when they interface with police officers. 

In wake of the decisions made today and
last week, the National Bar Association is deeply concerned whether under the current legal standard a victim of excessive and/or deadly force by the hands of a police officer in America can receive fair and equal justice. Accordingly, the fight for justice continues and the National Bar Association is calling on every American citizen to demand the following:

JUSTICE FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN VICTIMS OF EXCESSIVE AND/OR DEADLY FORCE BY THE HANDS OF A POLICE OFFICER

1. Demand the United States Department of Justice Indict Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo and the officers involved in the following deaths: Eugene Ellison, Bobby Moore and Chavis Carter (Little Rock, Arkansas), Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego (Los Angeles, CA), John Crawford (Beavercreek, OH), Clinton Allen, Jordan Baker and Kenneth Brian Releford (Houston, Texas), Marquise Jones (San Antonio, TX), Rodney Mitchell (Sarasota, FL)

2. How to Implement: Submit your demand by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice

By Mail
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

By Phone
Main Switchboard: (
202) 514-2000
Comment Line: (202) 353-1555

By Email
Submit demands to: 
webmaster@usdoj.gov
 

IMMEDIATE JUSTICE 
NATIONAL ECONOMIC BOYCOTT WITH LOCAL IMPACT 
As the National Bar Association studies the impact of an economic boycott on police brutality, we wanted to make all aware of several individuals/organizations who have called for an economic boycott:

Pastor Gregg L. GreerFounder of Freedom First International and Committee Member of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

 
Dr. Cornel West, Activist and author, Pastor Chantel Renee Wright, Founder of Songs of Solomon and Bernard Butler, Founder, Urban Diary TV.  

 
Five cities that are being targeted include*:   

  • Atlanta 
    Lottery, Macy’s, Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Chicago
    Lottery, Macy’s Best Buy, Target
  • Houston
    Lottery, Galleria Mall (Designate Mall as of limits for shopping
  • Los Angles
    Lottery,(To be determined in consultation)
  • New York
    Lottery, (Macy’s Target)
     

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

1. Demanding the Implementation of New State and Local Laws 
How to Implement: Require your councilperson and state legislators to implement the following laws

LOCAL LAW: Mandating Independent Investigations: Visit your City Hall to locate the following: 
  • Contact information for all council members.
  • The expiration date of council members terms.
  • Scheduled council meetings and citizens should attend and demand that the above laws are implemented IMMEDIATELY. 
  • Local attorneys (at least two) are asked to attend each council meeting.
  • Demand higher standards for individuals to Become Police Officers (local & state)
STATE LAW: Mandating Independent Investigations: Check your State Legislature website for the following: 
  • State Senate and Congressional representative's contact information.
  • The expiration date of the legislative member's term. 
  • Legislature sessions.
  • Write letters, attend congressional sessions and demand that the above laws are implemented IMMEDIATELY.  
STATE AND LOCAL LAW: Mandating Diversity Training
  • Require a standard training program for police officers in every state.   
Participate in the National Police Brutality Day On The Hill:
  • Friday, December 5, 2014
  • Show up on the steps of your state legislative and/or your local municipal building and demand that the above laws are implemented IMMEDIATELY.  
More information: nbacrimlawsection@gmail.com 


2. DEMAND CONGRESSIONAL ACTION BEFORE DEMOCRATS LEAVE SENATE 
  • Congress Pass laws related to:
    • Body Video Cameras
    • Use of Force
    • Elevation of Force
    • Permanent Suspension
    • Felony Police Brutality
    • End the “School to Prison Pipeline
  • Contact Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and demand that he allow Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) IMMEDIATELY hold hearings on Police Brutality.
  • Contact Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and demand the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee IMMEDIATELY hold hearings on Police Brutality
The Honorable Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
House Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Personal Office: (202) 225-5431
Committee Office: (202) 225-3951

Online: goodlatte.house.gov

The Honorable John Conyers (D-MI)
House Judiciary Committee
2142 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Personal Office: (202) 225-5126
Committee Office: (202) 225-6906

Online: conyers.house.gov

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Chairman (D-VT)

Senate Judiciary Committee
244 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4502
Personal Office: (202) 224-4242
Committee Office: (202) 224-7703

Online: www.leahy.senate.gov
 

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ABOUT THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: 
www.nationalbar.org

Copyright © 2014 National Bar Association, All rights reserved.


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