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.