NEW YORK, NY (June 3, 2020) – Raun Rasmussen, the Executive Director of Legal Services NYC, the nation’s largest provider of free civil legal services, responds to the murders of George Floyd and countless other Black people by law enforcement and white supremacists:
“Legal Services NYC demands justice for George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dion Johnson, and the countless other Black people who have been killed by law enforcement and white supremacists. These racist acts, including the assault on Christian Cooper in Central Park and disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, underscore centuries of systemic oppression, terror, and violence against Black people in America.
“Legal Services NYC stands in solidarity with the millions across America who are outraged, exhausted, and deeply pained by the systemic dehumanization of Black people and the lack of response from every corner of our society. We call on District Attorneys, police departments, and Attorneys General to investigate and hold accountable those involved.
“We also pledge to double down on our fight for racial, social, and economic justice. For over 50 years, Legal Services NYC has worked in solidarity with communities of color to lift up and empower our clients by providing free legal representation, and changing laws, policies, procedures, and practices to make systems more just. We have seen firsthand the racism baked into our systems and laws and the impact on Black clients and communities. We fight together with our Black clients to overcome these systems and dismantle them.
“We can and must do more dismantle structural anti-Black racism in our systems and laws and stand in solidarity with Black communities wherever and whenever we can.”