Responding to heavy-handed police tactics in Ferguson, including the arrests of legal observers and journalists, The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the National Lawyers Guild has issued this statement:
Today protests and uprisings continue in Ferguson, MO in response to continued police and state violence and in memory of Mike Brown who was murdered by Police Officer Darren Wilson one year ago. St. Louis County has declared a state of emergency in response to the protests and police officers have targeted activists with tear gas and arrests. Among those arrested and in custody today are Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Abi Hassan (former Mass Defense Coordinator of the NLG and Member of Black Movement Law Project) and many other activists and TUPOCC members. . The People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) – a contingent of radical lawyers, law students and legal workers of color in the National Lawyers Guild – stands in full opposition to the action of the police in Ferguson and call for the release of Gehi, Hassan and all activists. Gehi and other legal observers were arrested while observing the police and documenting misconduct as legal observers. The arrest of the legal observers during these protests was completely unwarranted and unconstitutional. Targeting of legal observers is merely a tactic aimed at undermining legal support structures in the movement and it will not be tolerated. TUPOCC remains in unequivocal solidarity with the movement for Black liberation in Ferguson and across the country and calls again for an immediate end to police repression of activists.