MBA President Denise I. Murphy
The brutal murders of innocent people at the hands of violent criminals are abhorrent to a civilized society. That’s why we have laws to punish those wrongdoers. We must not allow either of these recent events to go unnoticed as yet “another” mass killing. Ten people, including a police officer heroically performing his job, were killed this week in Colorado. Eight people, six of whom were Asian women, were murdered in Asian massage parlors in Georgia last week. These killings are a stain on our society and we, at the Massachusetts Bar Association, stand and mourn with these communities.
While the motive behind the Boulder killings remains unknown at this time, that doesn’t diminish the horror of the event and the debt that we owe to every person who offered aid, sheltered victims and paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect those innocent victims.
The motive in the Asian massage parlors, in contrast, has been widely discussed as “vengeance” against women and not a hate crime directed against the Asian community. I disagree. The victims are largely Asian and the attack occurred in an Asian community. The shooter clearly was explicitly and implicitly biased against the Asian community and, in particular, Asian women. Disturbing as that is, however, the subsequent treatment of another victim in the aftermath of the attack is beyond comprehension. A Hispanic man who lost his wife in the shooting was handcuffed for over four hours while he remained unaware of his wife’s fate, despite the fact that he was a victim.
Systemic racial and ethnic bias exists in our society and in our justice system, and we are taking action to eliminate it from our society. The MBA drafted significant portions of the legislation aimed at systemic reforms in our criminal justice system and is an active participant in the statewide efforts to make those changes at the highest levels. Please join us as we continue in our efforts to eliminate systemic bias against all underrepresented members of our community.