The following statement is issued jointly by the elected officers of the ISBA: Bill Boyd, President; Jerry Schnurr III, President-elect; Anjie Shutts, Vice President; Henry Hamilton III, Vice President-elect; Abhay Nadipuram, YLD President.
"We are deeply disturbed by the tragic death of George Floyd in our neighboring state at the hands of police — ruled a homicide by medical examiners — and other acts of violence and police brutality against people of color in recent days. We take great pride that our state has been a pioneer in the advancement of civil rights, but we recognize there is much more work to be accomplished.
“We acknowledge that most people involved in law enforcement and our justice system carry out their jobs with honor, integrity and fairness. Likewise, most protesters exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, speak out and demand accountability in a peaceful manner. The rule of law is essential for our society to function, and a key principle is that all persons, institutions and entities are accountable to laws that are equally and fairly enforced.
“Last summer, the late Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered the inaugural address at the Iowa National Bar Association’s annual diversity celebration held at the Monumental Journey sculpture in Des Moines. The sculpture was erected to honor the courageous African-American attorneys who, after being denied entry to the American Bar Association, started their own legal organization in 1925. Chief Justice Cady began his remarks by stating that of all the values expressed in our Constitution, none is more important or more enduring than equality. It embodies the foundation of our hope and aspirations as a people. It is our self-evident truth.
“As lawyers, we must hold ourselves accountable to the cause of righting injustices of the past and present. Now is the time to do all we can to help bring equality to our communities by serving as leaders as we work to rebuild trust and faith in our justice system and legal institutions."