Lambda Legal Affirms Right to Protest Police Violence After Trump Remarks

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June 1, 2020

Deeply disturbed by remarks made by President Trump tonight in which he threatened to deploy "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers" in response to protests arising from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement:

Peaceful protest is an American birthright.

Lambda Legal both affirms the right of Americans to protest and deems doing so at this moment an appropriate response to the killing of Black people in police custody. We firmly reject any efforts by any elected leader to restrict the free speech and free assembly rights of people in this country as unconstitutional and un-American.

As we begin Pride Month — a celebration that commemorates a rebellion that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June 1969 in response to police violence — Lambda Legal stands with those who decry racist police violence today. We urge all elected leaders to listen to this cry for justice and to reply with actions that advance America’s stated promise of equal justice under the law for all of us, not to seek to intimidate those of us who engage in the peaceful protest of injustice.