IABA Condemns the Recent Killing of George Floyd

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The Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) condemns the flagrant violation of George Floyd’s fundamental and constitutional rights, resulting in his brutal killing.

Mr. Floyd’s tragic death took place while in police custody, handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach, as one Minnesota police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes and three other officers assisted in the arrest. The officers in question did not refrain from, or intervene in, the egregious and excessive use of force despite Mr. Floyd’s and bystanders’ pleas that he could not breathe. As a result of the incident, all four individuals have been fired from the police department, and one of the four has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

As we know all too well, this senseless death is not an isolated incident. Mr. Floyd’s death, like the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, represent a historical and systemic pattern of violence against the African American community in this country.

Under our system of laws, the pursuit of life and liberty – and the right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures – are enshrined in our Constitution. But at its core, our system of laws promises a more fundamental principal: equality before the law. That promise was not fulfilled to Mr. Floyd, and it cannot be fulfilled in the face of systemic injustices against any minority community. In the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The devastation of Mr. Floyd’s rights are a blow to, and loss of, all of our fundamental rights.

As Iranian Americans, and lawyers, we understand this is not mere philosophy. The injustices against one minority community are easily turned against any other community. While our experiences cannot be compared with that of the African American community, and while we cannot understand the full depth of their pain, we can – and do – stand in solidarity with the Black community, call for justice under the law, and call for accountability for all of the ex-police officers involved in George Floyd’s heartbreaking death.

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