by Paris Henderson
Black Lives should matter to all people especially those given the responsibility of representing others in courtrooms across the country but the lives and issues black lives are facing in this country did not matter on Sunday, June 28, 2020. Black Lives Matter protesters descended on the neighborhood of elected St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson following outrage over her release of names and addresses of “DeFund the Police” activists. Mark and Patricia McCloskey two personal injury attorneys who lived in the community felt threatened by the peaceful protestors passing by their home felt it necessary to come out of their home and confront the people. Patricia wielded a small, silver handgun and Mark had a long, black gun more suited for war than a suburban community. The two looked crazed and unhinged and moments away from accidentally shooting one of the protestors or each other as they both had their fingers on the triggers.
When newly minted juris doctors graduate and pass the bar the bar examiners require them to submit information regarding their character and fitness to be accepted into this small group of legal experts. Should one of the criterium on the application be whether or not the person has an affinity to automatically criminalize black bodies? Law school is a pipeline to politics, the judiciary and spaces where critical policy is made. With so many people’s lives at stake it should be a greater push for those exiting law school to be educated and informed about social constructs that have been in place that perpetuate the cycle of inequity.
People like the McCloskey’s should be rooted out within the legal academy and not allowed to continue on because it does not enrich the community it endangers it. It is the responsibility of lawyers and law students to “hold truth to power” and continue to shine light on the inequities that allowed to gun wielding lawyers to feel it was okay to confront people walking by their home and threaten their lives.