Ithaca, NEW YORK, Dec 08, 2014

To: Cornell Law School and Cornell University Community at Large

The Cornell University Black Law Students Association, after much individual and collective introspection, seek to express our joint stance against the recent grand jury decisions, which failed to indict both Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and Staten Island Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo.  Each one of us can remember the moment we heard the news reports that Michael Brown and Eric Garner would not receive justice.  We continue to express great sorrow and our condolences for their families.

The continued violence against the black community by law enforcement officers is a systemic problem in the United States, one that has been ongoing since the founding of our country.  As part of the community being victimized, the impact we feel, not only from these recent decisions, but the continuous and relentless mistreatment of our community, is almost impossible to describe.

As we make our way through this great institution, and use the tools we are so fortunate to have at our disposal, we intend to create an environment that will facilitate honest and open conversation about these racial issues that mar the continued development of our country and society.  Cornell BLSA aims to shine a light on the blatant inequities present in the criminal justice system, fostering discussion through both a legal and socio-economic lens, and we will continue to support initiatives to end this injustice within our communities.

We understand the outrage and sadness that members of the Cornell community may be feeling in response to the respective grand jury decisions.  We also understand that this is a difficult time of year, as everyone is focused on final examinations.  Please remember that the Cornell Law School community and the Cornell BLSA community are caring ones, and there are students, professors, administrators, and staff who echo your sentiments and are here to provide support.

We look forward to coming together as a stronger community next semester.

Cornell Black Law Students Association