News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: KKK courthouse mural still on display; George Floyd's family sues

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painting covered in a white sheet

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Group calls for removal of courthouse mural with KKK figures

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is calling for removal of a courthouse mural that includes three Ku Klux Klan members riding on horseback in their white robes. The mural in the Baker County Courthouse was intended to illustrate significant events in the history of the county, located north of Jacksonville. “This is not a museum. This is a courthouse,” said Mitch Stone, president of the lawyers’ group. (The Florida Times-Union, the Washington Post)

Law firm founder dies of COVID-19 after cycling accident

Stephen Susman, a founder of Susman Godfrey, died Tuesday at the age of 79 after he contracted COVID-19 while recovering from a bicycle accident. A statement by his law firm said Susman changed the nature of law practice by championing contingent fees in commercial litigation and urging lawyers to avoid excessive discovery. He also had a fatherly role at the firm, “even if he was a father whose words of wisdom were liberally sprinkled with F-bombs, dares and raucous laughter,” the statement said. (Law.com, Law360, Susman Godfrey statement)

George Floyd’s family sues Minneapolis and four officers

The family of George Floyd filed a civil rights lawsuit on Wednesday against Minneapolis and four police officers charged in his death. Among the lawyers representing the family is civil rights attorney Ben Crump. “Mr. Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police Department was on his neck,” Crump said in a press release. “The city of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures and deliberate indifference that violates the rights of arrestees.” (NPR, USA Today, press release, the lawsuit)

Colorado is 11th state to ban LGBTQ panic defense

Colorado has become the 11th state to ban defendants from asserting they aren’t to blame for violent behavior because they were reacting to a victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill banning the LGBTQ panic defense on Monday. The ABA has advocated for such bans since 2013. (The Denver Post, the Hill)

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