Akerman LLP is among a group of U.S. law firms joining the ACLU of Louisiana’s litigation campaign to challenge racially discriminatory policing practices.
The initiative, called “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial,” seeks, over time and in a sustained fashion, to bring up to 1,000 cases in Louisiana challenging racially-motivated stops and seizures under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and any other applicable laws. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the ratio of police officers to residents is the highest of any state in the country. By focusing intensive efforts on a single state, Justice Lab aims to test the impact that litigation has on police conduct.
"Institutionalized racism has gone unchecked and unchallenged for far too long," said Scott Meyers, Akerman Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to being part of ACLU's pilot effort in Louisiana to launch an intensive wave of litigation that will help establish a blueprint for challenging race-based stops, searches, and seizures nationwide."
Nora Ahmed, ACLU of Louisiana legal director said, "Justice Lab will incentivize anti-racist policing by imposing a systematic accountability check on the brutalizing of Black and Brown communities in Louisiana. The goal is to establish a litigation blueprint for altering police conduct across the country. The killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks were not isolated incidents. They were, and are, enabled by a system where bad stops, bad searches, and non-fatal uses of excessive force are tolerated without repercussion. Justice Lab attacks the epidemic of racist policing at its source."
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