Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hands off Jill Clark


From Communities United Against Police Brutality's
newsletter from December 9, 2006
Attorney Jill Clark has tirelessly and fearlessly defended people of color and poor people who have been targeted by the criminal justice system, especially survivors of police brutality and family members of people killed by police. She often takes important cases free of charge, in order to create significant changes in police policies and practices. She is truly the people's lawyer.

As part of her work, Jill has encountered and exposed courthouse corruption being used to railroad police brutality victims and others. This corruption contributes to Minnesota having the highest rate of overprosecution of Blacks in the country (according to the Council on Crime and Justice). In April 2006, Jill filed a formal complaint against Hennepin County chief judge Lucy Weiland for activities that unfairly stacked the deck against her client. She filed another complaint in October against Weiland, two other judges and a prosecutor who colluded to deny her client justice. In both cases, although Jill indicated that she had extensive documentation on file, the Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards refused to investigate the case--or even review her documentation. We've had dealings with this outfit in the past and can tell you that this board doesn't do squat and seems to exist to protect wayward judges, so this was no big surprise. Still, you would think that some of her documentation might have at least peaked their interest.

Jill has now learned that Weiland filed a formal complaint against her with the Lawyer's Office of Professional Responsibility. Unlike the Board of Judicial (NON)Standards, this agency takes their responsibilities seriously. They have launched an investigation of the complaint. They won't find anything--there isn't a shred of truth to Weiland's complaint, which is mostly a rant about the fact that Jill complained about her. Still, the process itself is grueling and forces Jill to expend energy defending herself rather than working for the community.

We must fight back against this vicious attempt to silence one of the strongest defenders of the community against the abuses of the courts and cops. The people need lawyers like Jill who stand up for us against a repressive system. If we don't defend her, all other lawyers who do the right thing will be targeted, too and the community will be without the help we need.

If you've ever been helped by a lawyer like Jill, now is the time to come to her defense! Tell the system, HANDS OFF JILL CLARK!

Press Conference
Tuesday, December 12
12:00 noon
Hennepin County Government Center
300 S 6th Street, Minneapolis
By the fountain on the main floor
Called by the newly-formed Jill Clark Defense Coalition. Jill will formally announce the complaint to the media and we will announce the formation of our coalition and our intent to stand with and defend Jill and to fight corruption in the Hennepin County courts. We need lots of folks to be there, hold signs and be visible supporters.

Organizing Meeting
Tuesday, December 12
6:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis
We will continue to organize our Hands Off Jill Clark campaign and a counteroffensive campaign of going against the corruption in the Hennepin County courts. Come and join one of our working groups to stand with Jill and take action against the machinery that defends brutal cops and targets police brutality survivors.

Blacklogic is a full supporter of the Jill Clark Defense Coalition and will be reporting more on this story as it develops -- RZ

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