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In Wake of Death of Alton Sterling, Civil Rights Organizations Launch Pro Bono Legal Support Program to Defend Rights of Protesters in Louisiana

For Immediate Release July 11, 2016

Contacts:

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Lonita Baker National Bar Association

Demonstrators Encouraged to Contact 866-459-1220 for Assistance if Subject to or Faced with Risk of Arrest While Protesting or Demonstrating

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of the tragic death of Alton Sterling, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society of Baton Rouge – an affiliate of the National Bar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild of Southern University Law Center at Baton Rouge have partnered to provide pro-bono legal services to peaceful protesters arrested while exercising their right to call for justice.

“The fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge is a matter of great national interest. Communities across Louisiana are calling for reform by exercising their first amendment right to demonstrate and protest,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We seek to ensure that the first amendment rights of those demonstrators are protected.”

The coalition received service requests from over 70 jailed protestors in just 24 hours, and continues to field requests.

“We are investigating claims that officers arrested scores of peaceful protesters. This is truly unacceptable,” said Ashley Greenhouse, President of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society of Baton Rouge, a National Bar Association affiliate chapter. “The Louis A. Martinet Legal Society will promote peace and productivity. We will fight every obstruction of the right to protest peacefully.”

“The action of the Martinet Legal Society, an NBA Affiliate Chapter, in answering the call of justice in Baton Rouge is a shining example of the dedication that our members have throughout the country as we remain steadfast in our commitment to assure due process of the law is a reality in our communities of color,” said National Bar Association President Benjamin L. Crump.

As mass demonstrations are expected to continue into the week, the coalition encourages demonstrators and protesters to contact 866-459-1220 should they face arrest. For more information on how you can support the effort, contact the Martinet Legal Society of Baton Rouge at [email protected] or the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law at [email protected].

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About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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