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Statement From the Board of Directors of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys on the Killing of George Floyd

As a member of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys, we are proud to stand by the below statement made by the organization’s board of directors addressing the killing of George Floyd.


We are members of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys (NAFUSA). NAFUSA is a bipartisan group of more than 300 former United States Attorneys that was established in 1979 to protect and support the mission of United States Attorneys and to improve the administration of justice within the federal courts.

There can be no question that the horrific treatment and death of George Floyd is far outside the bounds of any civilized society. The police officer who suffocated Mr. Floyd and those officers who stood by and did not protect him have all been charged criminally. We firmly believe that all criminal defendants deserve the presumption of innocence; however, the video depiction of the events of that day makes it difficult to imagine any excuse for these officers.

Providing justice for Mr. Floyd and his family cannot be the end of the matter – it must be a beginning. Many African-Americans are exhausted from their long suffering and unfair treatment by those in society who see only their color and not their character. Racist and unlawful acts of violence against black men and women while in the custody of police officers must be exposed, challenged and prosecuted. It is untenable that a large part of our population fears physical harm and death from an encounter with law enforcement. Intimidation and fear imposed by any police officer on any person of color must end.

As former federal prosecutors, we recognize the challenges that police officers face as they protect our local communities. The overwhelming number of law enforcement officers are fair-minded and serve the public admirably. But many Americans, ourselves included, recognize that in the United States today justice is denied to far too many of our citizens. Any abuse or excessive force by law enforcement cannot be tolerated, because it is illegal and undermines the trust and faith we have in the administration of justice.

Our road to complete justice will be long and difficult, but the hallmark of America is its strong and compassionate people. We will never forget George Floyd and the injustice he suffered, and as former United States Attorneys, we are committed to achieving through the rule of law, and with compassion, a just society for all Americans.

New Bill Would Create Crime of Aggressive Driving in Louisiana

Representative Samuel Jenkins (D-Dist. 2) filed a bill to be taken up in the Louisiana House of Representatives that would criminalize certain acts committed while driving. Therefore, committing these actions would not just result in a traffic ticket, it would result in a misdemeanor criminal offense.

The proposed new law, House Bill 6[1], creates the crime of Aggressive Driving. To violate that law, a person must commit three or more of the following offenses during a single and continuous period of driving:

(1) Exceeding the posted speed limit.

(2) Violating the maximum speed limit or the general speed law.

(3) Failing to obey traffic control signals or devices.

(4) Overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right by driving off the pavement or main traveled portion of the roadway.

(5) Engaging in unsafe lane changes.

(6) Following too closely.

(7) Failing to yield the right-of-way.

(8) Failing to drive within a marked lane of traffic.

(9) Failing to yield to approaching traffic when approaching or entering an intersection. (10) Failing to signal when turning or stopping.

(11) Failing to stop at stop signs or yield at yield signs.

(12) Overtaking and passing a school bus when visual signals are in operation on the school bus.


Clearly most of these actions listed are already traffic offenses, for which a police officer could pull someone over as soon as he observes just one of them. However, if that police officer witnesses three or more of these violations, that can enhance the penalty from a traffic ticket into a criminal offense which could result in a misdemeanor charge.

The penalty for Aggressive Driving would be a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to six months. The offender would also be required to complete a driver improvement program. The proposed law includes enhancements if an offender commits the crime more than once, bumping the fine up to $1,000 and potentially a year in jail for the second or subsequent offenses.  Additionally, a conviction for this offense will result in a suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for six months.

Now keep in mind this law is not in effect yet, but it is being considered in the House of Representatives. The aim of this law is to increase safety on our roads and to give police and prosecutors a stronger tool to penalize reckless and unsafe driving. For some drivers, a mere traffic ticket may not be enough to get them to reconsider their driving habits. Maybe if they were facing a misdemeanor on their record and a suspended license, they might think twice about certain behaviors on the road, making things a little safer for the rest of us.

[1] http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1111706

Vaping Industry Facing New Regulations

In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity in the use of vaping devices for the consumption of tobacco and marijuana. E-cigarettes or “vapes” come in many shapes and styles, but they generally consist of a battery that heats liquid containing nicotine or marijuana to produce vapor. The liquid is commonly contained in pre-filled cartridges or pods that attach to the battery and heating element. Vaping has been touted as a safer and healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes because it doesn’t involve inhaling the burnt tobacco or other carcinogens and chemicals contained in cigarettes.  However, there has recently been a surge in lung illnesses associated with vaping that has caused alarm across the country.


Federal data shows that there have been 1,888 cases in the US of vaping-related lung illness.[1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there have been 37 deaths confirmed in 24 states. According to the FDA, patients have reported a gradual start of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea, or other symptoms such as fevers or fatigue.[2]


Although these numbers may be small in comparison to those associated with the damage inflicted by traditional smoking, they have been enough to catch the attention of Washington D.C. President Donald Trump is expected to finalize plans with the FDA in the upcoming week to ban all flavored vaping products, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavors.[3] While the impetus for putting this plan into action may have been related to the widespread media reports about the vaping illnesses, it’s possible the intended target of the flavor regulation is to curb the explosion of youth vaping.


Based on the preliminary research regarding the culprit causing the harm, it is not clear the new FDA regulations on flavor restrictions will have any effect on preventing the vaping lung illnesses.[4]  Data on the affected individuals shows the illness has been associated with those using vaping devices containing marijuana/THC. These THC-containing cartridges are also coming from black market sources, as opposed to legal marijuana dispensaries.


The FDA has hypothesized that Vitamin E acetate, which is used as a thickening agent in these black market products, may be what is causing the harm. The FDA has opened a criminal investigation alongside the Drug Enforcement Agency to track down anyone manufacturing illicit and adulterated vaping products. While the FDA appears to be enacting policy only prohibiting the usage of flavors, certain states have taken more aggressive approaches.  Massachusetts enacted a four-month ban on all vaping products. Juul, one of the most well-known vaping manufacturers, has already restricted its sales to only the flavors of tobacco, menthol, and mint.


While the recent outbreak of lung illness has been primarily linked to black market THC products, the publicity these cases have received has led to regulation by the federal government as well as some state governments. As of now, Louisiana has not enacted any form of a ban on vaping products. It remains to be seen how effective the new FDA regulations will be at curbing youth vaping or this new illness and whether they may become more expansive in the future.






[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/09/07/what-we-know-about-mysterious-vaping-linked-illnesses-deaths/

[2] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/lung-illnesses-associated-use-vaping-products

[3] https://www.axios.com/trump-ban-flavored-vaping-products-4830652d-af8d-4c84-81b0-2174e9ad3344.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twsocialshare&utm_campaign=organic

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/09/07/what-we-know-about-mysterious-vaping-linked-illnesses-deaths/

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