Judge Street Calls for Justice

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Over the past week, our collective outrage has boiled over, following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minn.

A culmination of unjust acts perpetrated by those who are supposed to protect and serve.

Unfortunately, this is the same kind of terror inflicted against Black men and women across this country that we have all witnessed time and time again.

There is a history and an undeniable pattern. In the past, it has been easy to tuck away the resulting trauma, especially when no justice could be found. But not this time, we cannot look away, run or hide. Some people have demonstrated their frustration in the form of protest in the streets of our city and across the nation. Many others are just trying to cope with the horror of witnessing a life being taken so callously. Indeed, the world is focused on this moment in time.

As stewards of justice, we recognize the courage it takes to acknowledge and call out injustice in our system, even when overt. As judges of color, we are absolutely obliged to maintain the promise of our forefathers, and not retreat in the face of institutionalized racism, hate, injustice or inequality. There is much work to do. Accountability is a necessity.

Let us all take stock and make sure that this moment full of intense focus, anger and pain is not in vain. We demand that equal value be placed on every human life despite race, class, or color. To that end, we will continue to stand together and work collectively with the community in the administration of justice and equality for all.

“Walking by faith and not by sight.”

Judge Sierra Thomas Street, of the 1st Judicial District of Pennsylvania, chairs the Clifford Scott Green Chapter of the National Bar Association Judicial Council.

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