Washington supreme court judges have issued a statement of solidarity with the protest going on against the injustices against Black Americans.
The letter condemned the prejudices and injustices exist against the black community in the justice systems of the United States of America.
The letter asked the legal community to act together and eradicate the pre-existing racism in the system.
The letter reads as- “Devaluation and degradation of black lives is not a recent event. It is a persistent and systemic injustice that predates this nation’s founding. But recent events have brought to the forefront of our collective conscience a painful fact that is, for too many of our citizens, common knowledge: the injustices faced by black Americans are not relics of the past.”
The statement of solidarity has been issued after the gruesome murder of George Flyod, an African-American, by a white police officer. George was arrested by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25th for alleged use of counterfeit money at a grocery store. The officer pressed his knees on his neck for almost 9 minutes while George was saying ‘I can’t breathe’. The police did not leave him until he died of asphyxiation. This inhuman murder triggered a widespread protest against the prejudiced behaviour of the justice system against the black community.
The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has accordingly issued the statement, acknowledging the presence of “racialized policing and the overrepresentation of black Americans in every stage of our criminal and juvenile justice system. It further states that institution remains affected by the “vestiges of slavery: Jim Crow laws that were never dismantled and racist court decisions that were never disavowed.
The issue of systematic inequalities and the lack of financial, personal or systemic support has been highlighted in the letter to portray the harms that are caused when meritorious claims go unaddressed as a result of inherent biases and racial traditions.
Too often in the legal profession, we feel bound by tradition and the way things have “always” been. We must remember that even the most venerable precedent must be struck down when it is incorrect and harmful. The systemic oppression of black Americans is not merely incorrect and harmful; it is shameful and deadly.”
The letter also recognised the individual responsibility of allowing the injustice to grow and ripe in the judicial system.
The letter ended with an appeal to everyone to support our black comrades.
It reads as “It is the collective product of each of our individual actions – every action, every day. It is only by carefully reflecting on our actions, taking individual responsibility for them, and constantly striving for better than we can address the shameful legacy we inherit. We call on every member of our legal community to reflect on the moment and ask ourselves how we may work together to eradicate racism”.
The letter was signed by Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens, and Justices Charles W. Johnson, Barbara A. Madsen, Susan Owens, Steven C. González, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, Raquel Montoyo-Lewis and G. Helen Whitener.