The following is a message from NJSBA President Kimberly A. Yonta.
As the president of New Jersey’s largest organization of attorneys, I join with the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, the Garden State Bar Association and other colleagues across the state and nation in calling for a swift, fair and independent investigation into the killing of George Floyd.
There are two truths to acknowledge here. The first is that racial bias and racism still thrive in our society. The second is that those biases can undermine public confidence in our justice system. Americans must have faith that our justice system is fair, and our laws are applied equitably.
There are no words of comfort that will help Mr. Floyd’s loved ones right now or soothe the rightful anger and grief of the greater community of Americans who are horrified and sickened by the painful and disturbing images of Mr. Floyd dying while pinned under the knee of a police officer in the street.
It is important to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges do their jobs with honor, fairness and integrity, just as the great majority of protesters exercise their constitutional rights to assemble and speak publicly in a peaceful and orderly manner. But it is also important to insist that, in every instance, the rule of law prevail.
That is why the most important thing to do now is to make sure laws are fairly applied, and that an investigation is timely, independent and transparent. It is the duty of our profession to ensure justice for all.