Commemorating the Second Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death
Later this afternoon, President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order that would direct all federal agencies to revise their use-of-force policies and create a national registry of officers fired for misconduct. In addition, Biden's executive order will re-impose restrictions on federal transfers of military-grade equipment to local police, new national standards for police accreditation, and require the use of body cameras by federal officers. These policy changes are a welcome and necessary action at the federal level.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the weaponization of race against Chris Cooper catalyzed the start of the ArentFox Schiff Center for Racial Equity (AFSCRE). “As a law firm, we have a central role to play in the process of reconciliation. As lawyers, we have a special responsibility to promote values of justice, fairness, and equality in the law and in practice,” noted then Chair Mark M. Katz in summer 2020.
When founding the Center, we announced its mission would focus on taking concrete steps toward addressing systemic inequalities. To that end, AFSCRE is proud to note that we have contributed more than 3,000 pro bono hours to racial justice issues. That has included partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to help address Voting Rights and policing issues, advising the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on redistricting, and collaborating with Howard University School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center to produce policy recommendations addressing institutionalized racism.
Our work continues. As a law firm, we recognize that we have a central role to play in ending discrimination and advancing racial equity. To volunteer to help the Center, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Board members.