The Fogelman Law Firm is opposed to racism and state-sanctioned violence, murder, and terror being perpetrated by law enforcement agencies across the country. This brutality against Black and brown communities has a history that dates back to the country’s first colonizers. Now, the protests and uprising led by citizens across the country (and the world) is rekindling a growing fire among people, including me, who believe that Black Lives Matter.
The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis is heinous. The killing of Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes while jogging in Georgia is unconscionable. The killing of Breonna Taylor by law enforcement officers in Louisville, KY while she was sleeping in her bed is unthinkable. The attempted weaponization of police force against Christian Cooper, a Black gay man, by a white woman in New York City, is intolerable.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community, including our Black friends, colleagues, and clients. As an organization, and as the leader of this law firm, we recognize and acknowledge that all lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.
The United States is a country that was built on racialized violence and slavery. This legacy takes time and significant work to undo, and even organizations committed to social justice are not immune from this sordid American legacy. I have dedicated my life’s work to representing the underdog in civil cases – standing up against discrimination of all forms and advocating for those in the employment sphere whose voices may not receive the amplification they deserve. At the same time, I recognize that I can do more and do better. As a white lawyer, I enjoy privileges in the world. As a society and as a law firm, we must commit to doing the hard work of exploring, addressing, and undoing our own internalized racism. We commit to working within our organization, with our colleagues, with our clients, within the civil legal system, and within our community to do this deep and difficult work. I commit to listen more, learn more, explore more, speak out more, be an anti-racist, and work harder to make our system fairer for everyone.
We echo the words of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys in calling for an end to the systemic inequalities in our justice system which killed Mr. George Floyd, which caused the police to treat Mr. Floyd as not human, and have caused many named and unnamed Black people to suffer abuse, indignities, and death.
We pledge to work on keeping our Black community safe from violence and mistreatment, including in the workplace. We will advocate for meaningful civil and criminal justice reform in the system that disproportionately punishes Black and brown people. We will continue to do that work and to look for new opportunities to create change.