The unjustifiable killing of Mr. Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department was brazen, cruel and entirely avoidable. The events in Minneapolis call out for action. We recognize too that the tragic killing of the handcuffed Mr. Floyd is one of several killings of unarmed Black people that catalyzed civil protests across the nation aimed at eradicating systemic racism, reforming policing practices and awakening a broader cross-section of the nation to the urgency of the demands for social justice.
WilmerHale recognizes the personal pain and anguish that killings of unarmed Black people, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others, cause for communities of Black people, including within our firm, and know that our broader WilmerHale community, like so many across the nation, shares in the distress and the belief that this unacceptable pattern must change.
With the fervent desire that this moment of national suffering and protest be channeled for meaningful and durable police reform, WilmerHale recommits itself to do its part to ensure change.
- We encourage the firm to join in a day of reflection on June 9, 2020 about unjustifiable killings, uses of excessive force, systemic racism and our commitment to effect change.
- We pledge to donate at least $250,000 to an organization/s working on police reform efforts.
- Annually, we pledge to select two fellows to work at any civil rights organization that is committed to addressing issues related to systemic racism and criminal justice, and police accountability.
- We have established a pro bono client initiative for a variety of efforts focused on addressing police reform and other social inequities affecting Black people in our country.
- For example, one pro bono initiative will focus on police accountability and meaningful reform, a longstanding area of firm expertise that our lawyers have from experiences both within and outside the government, and from their work with civil rights organizations. We expect that others in our community will join our ongoing and rapidly expanding efforts.
- We will continue to provide legal assistance to members of our community, as well as others, who are arrested in any peaceful protest.
These are our initial steps in our efforts to ensure meaningful change. We plan to build on and expand this work.