by Jerry Alexander
The Dallas Bar Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas LGBT Bar Association, and Dallas Women Lawyers Association recently prepared and sent a Joint Resolution to Orlando, Florida regarding the tragic events that recently occurred there.
What appears below is another Joint Resolution of these seven associations about the recent tragedies involving the law enforcement officers in our own City.
As practicing attorneys and judges, we are part of the same legal system as these brave law enforcement officers and in a very real way they are our kin.
Here is what the Resolution says:
DALLAS BAR ASSOCIATION,
J.L. TURNER LEGAL ASSOCIATION,
DALLAS ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION,
DALLAS HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION,
DALLAS ASSOCIATION OF YOUNG LAWYERS,
DALLAS LGBT BAR ASSOCIATION,
DALLAS WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
Whereas, the Dallas Bar Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas LGBT Bar Association and Dallas Women Lawyers Association (the “Associations”), as organizations representing more than 11,000 attorneys send our condolences and thoughts and prayers for the families of all those impacted by the tragedies last week; the losses are felt by many generations, including parents, spouses and children; please know that you are not alone in your grief and that we hope you find comfort in that knowledge;
Whereas, we are witnesses to a heartbreaking time in our city and our country; we lost four officers from the Dallas Police Department and one from Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and others were wounded while serving a peaceful protest in one of history's worst attacks on police; all of this comes as the nation struggles with the deaths of African-Americans during interaction with law enforcement;
Whereas, the Associations acknowledge that all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin and/or profession are deserving of the equal rights and protections of the laws of the State of Texas and the United States of America;
Whereas, the men and women of law enforcement are the front line of protecting the rule of law in our country; they protect all of us, including the attorneys and judges who are members of these Associations and who are also part of the system that fosters the rule of law; the freedoms that all of us have, including the freedom that members of these Associations enjoy to practice law and be judges in our community, are often taken for granted; they are protected first by local police; Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown said, "We don't feel a lot of support most days… Let's not let today be most days";
Whereas, we should all commit to promoting the equal application of the law and supporting our brave law enforcement officers every day;
Whereas, the Associations acknowledge that some citizens in this country, and in particular African-Americans, live in fear of interactions with police; these fears are justified; we must all take time to understand these fears; we should talk to each other; we should listen to each other; we should teach our children to do the same, and we should all act together to further all of these goals;
Whereas, the Associations acknowledge that more work must be done; the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, under the leadership of Chief David Brown, have been recognized by President Obama and other national leaders as being a leading police department in the nation in community policing efforts and modifications to rules of engagement; Dallas Police Department has reduced the number of police involved shootings each year since 2014; the Dallas Police Department has acted and continues to strive to improve each day, as do the officers of Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that:
(1) together we must commit to doing the same; we commit to use our training to open our minds to be more understanding of others and to use our training and words to bring others together to open their minds;
(2) we should all try to bring our City closer together, because it is truly one of the great cities of the world, and recent events can make us stronger;
(3) we will all work together to achieve greatness for our city.
Be it further resolved, that this action be recorded in the permanent records and minutes of these Associations and that an original of this Resolution be forwarded to the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit as an expression of the esteem in which these victims and their families are held by these Associations.
Adopted by the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors, the J.L. Turner Legal Association Board of Directors, the Dallas Asian American Bar Association Board of Directors, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Board of Directors, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Board of Directors, the Dallas LGBT Bar Association Board of Directors, and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association Board of Directors on this the 15th day of July, 2016.
We should all resolve to support our brave law enforcement officers every day.
We should all resolve to use our training to open our minds to be more understanding of others and to bring people together.
We should resolve to help bring our City together and help it achieve the greatness it deserves.
We all extend our deepest condolences to the families that have been touched by these tragedies and our sincerest hopes for the brightest of futures for all of us going forward together.
Jerry C. Alexander, 107th President
Dallas Bar Association