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Leon County public defenders rally in support of Black Lives Matter movement

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 18:11:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Dozens of public defenders took to the Leon County courthouse Monday in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Defenders took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds remembering the life of George Floyd.

They later marched the streets of Tallahassee, chanting with signs in hand.

Attorney Elizabeth Vallejo says this is more than just a police issue, it’s also a judicial issue.

"Anyone who's worked in public defense and criminal law in general knows that our system is inherently racist," said Vallejo. "It’s systemically racist and we want to show our clients and our community that we are behind the black members of our community and we are fighting for them."

They also hope to end police brutality and the mass incarceration of black men and women.

They says some, like Chandler Strong are innocent.

"These people right here, the public defenders," said Strong, "they are some amazing people and I appreciate them, I love them. I support them too, just like they support us."

Strong says since his defender proved his innocence in court he has changed his life and now dedicates his time to help children make the right decisions.

Vallejo says although the protest only lasted one day, they will continue to fight each day for those they serve in Leon County.