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Asian Pacific American bar speaks out against racism, calls for legislative action

As protests continue nationwide over racial inequities in the criminal justice system, the local chapter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association is offering its support for the black community while encouraging peaceful protests and legislative action.

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Indiana, known as APABA-IN, issued a statement on behalf of its board on Monday offering condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor — black individuals whose killings this year have sparked protests against systemic racism. The bar association also defended the rights of the scores of peaceful protestors who have taken to the streets in the last two weeks.

“These protests are the manifestation of a marginalized community begging to be seen, heard, and treated as equals — as human,” the statement says. “Undeniably, the right to assembly and peacefully protest is a protected right under the First Amendment of our Constitution, and the rule of law dictates that peaceful protests be allowed to take place.”

The organization offered specific praise for Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears for his decision not to bring charges against 41 individuals arrested during peaceful protests in Indianapolis. Mears’ office did, however, file felony burglary charges against 14 people.

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