The Catholic University of America

Banks introduces the panel taking part in the  “Focus on Ferguson: Police Use of Force and Next Steps" discussion

Banks introduces the panel who took part in the “Focus on Ferguson: Police Use of Force and Next Steps" discussion


CUA Law 2L works to raise awareness and protect the rights of peaceful protesters

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After seeing and hearing about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri related to the shooting and subsequent death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Marques Banks, a 2L at CUA Law, has been working tirelessly to raise issues about policing. Marques was so moved by all that was happening in Ferguson, he went to Missouri to find a way to get involved. He is now working with Professor Justin Hansford, Saint Louis University Law School, Nicole Lee, former president of TransAfrica and a highly regarded human rights lawyer, Purvi Shah, Center of Constitutional Rights, Advancement Project, Nathan Sheard, Mutant Legal, and Jill Humphries, the National Lawyers Guild, setting up legal support for demonstrators. They have particularly focused on the treatment of peaceful demonstrators.

This past February, Banks helped organize a two-hour panel discussion, “Focus on Ferguson: Police Use of Force and Next Steps” at the law school, as a way to explore some of the deeper themes brought to the surface by Brown’s death. This event was sponsored by the Black Law Students Association and brought experts on the subject to the law school.

Banks also began working with the National Lawyers Guild, where he is working with human rights groups to train and organize observers who witness and record the treatment of peaceful demonstrators. They hope to gather research and publish it to share more broadly about the kinds of abuses they are seeing routinely in various areas of the country. If demonstrators are arrested, he also helps them gain release.

His involvement with the Guild brought him to Baltimore to observe the protests there related to the April 19 death of Freddie Gray. His involvement with the National Lawyers Guild was mentioned in a story published by The Baltimore Sun on May 4.
(see below)

. . .

Legal observers working with the National Lawyers Guild were detained or arrested Friday and Saturday, according to the organization. Marques Banks, a law student at Catholic University who was one of the observers, said they wore green hats to distinguish themselves and stood away from protesters as they observed police practices.

Banks said legal observers arrested Saturday night were held for as long as 24 hours. “For me, it seemed an excessive time to keep people,” he said.

. . .

From: The Baltimore Sun
Date: May 4, 2015
Author: Justin Fenton
Article title: Judge OKs Hogan’s order to extend hold on riot suspects
Read the full article here