We at Balin Law are taking a moment to consider civil rights and injustice this Juneteenth.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were unjust and unlawful. Their deaths were needless and preventable. These individuals are only the most recent examples of African-Americans being battered by a legal system that is sworn to protect and serve all.
We have seen largely peaceful protests in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and many countries around the world in support of equal justice under the law. These protests have inspired tens of thousands of Ohioans to take to the streets to express their disapproval of the status quo. While the cities of Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton have already declared racism to be a public health crisis, it bears noting that these protests are in no way limited to big cities. In the last two weeks the rural towns of Bethel, Ohio and Chagrin Falls, Ohio made headlines for their well-attended protests. People of all backgrounds from Ashtabula County to Hamilton County are coming together to demand change. Balin Law condemns racism and stands with the protestors demanding justice, and we have made a donation to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in recognition of the First Amendment rights of the protestors.
The team at Balin Law believes in the rule of law. That means our nation’s laws must be fairly applied and fairly enforced by those who control the legal system, including prosecutors and members of the law enforcement community. For our part, we will continue to provide exceptional representation to communities of color. Knowledgeable representation is crucial when it comes to Social Security disability proceedings because federal studies have confirmed that, “among claimants without attorneys, African-American claimants were significantly less likely to be awarded benefits than white claimants.” SSA Disability Decision Making: Additional Steps Needed to Ensure Accuracy and Fairness of Decisions at the Hearings Level, available at https://www.gao.gov/assets/250/240595.pdf.
We want people of color to know that we see them, we hear them, and we will continue to be their ally in turning the tide against systemic racism. Keep your head up.