PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lawyers at the Criminal Justice Center Friday morning took a ceremonial knee and raised a fist to bring attention to what they believe is inequity in the legal system.
“You could choose to be a black defendant or a white defendant, which one would you choose? The answer is why we’re here today,” said Attorney Michael Coard.
Before Attorney Michael Coard took a knee, he presented a hypothetical to the small crowd, saying if two people with identical credentials are arrested for the same crime, nobody would want to face a judge as a black man.
“From the beginning of the legal system to the end of the legal system, blacks are treated in a clearly disparate and racist manner,” said Coard.
He says the common thread among defendants he’s represented is poverty, and he believes without adequate schools in poor neighborhoods, the system will continue to churn out people who have no hope to climb the economic ladder.
“Ignorance and poverty, sadly, breeds crime,” said Coard.