A Statement from the President and Vice President of the Bar Association of Erie County About Mr. George Floyd and the Resulting Unrest

June 1, 2020

Buffalo, NY – Regarding the ongoing events in our city and across the nation, President Bridget M. O’Connell and Vice President Oliver C. Young of the Bar Association of Erie County have issued the following statement:

The death of Mr. George Floyd requires us to speak. As the Bar Association of Erie County, our mission calls us to facilitate the administration of justice. A just society cannot accept the mistreatment of people of color.

As lawyers, we embrace peaceful solutions to the serious systemic challenges facing us in these troubling days and nights. We reject silence following Mr. George Floyd’s death.  In the words of Harriet Beecher Stowe, “the bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.”  To our members, now is the time to do and say all we can to help bring equity and justice to our workplaces, homes, and neighborhoods and to support and strengthen fair application of the rule of law, due process, and enduring equality in our courts and society.

While we condemn the violence in our streets, we are committed to the cause and the struggle. We are responsible for each other and accountable for forging change to right injustices of the past and present. 

About the Bar Association of Erie County: The Bar Association of Erie County (BAEC) is a not-for-profit professional association with over 3,200 member attorneys and judges in Western New York. Founded in 1887, the BAEC mission is to cultivate the science of jurisprudence; to promote reform in the law; to facilitate the administration of justice; to elevate the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession and to cherish the spirit of camaraderie among the members thereof.



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