Statement of Linda A. Klein, president, American Bar Association, Re: Violence in Charlottesville, Va.

NEW YORK, Aug. 13, 2017 – The American Bar Association abhors the violence and crimes committed in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend. With the families, we mourn the loss of life as a result of this violence. We wish a speedy recover to those who are injured.

As the Department of Justice rightly investigates the events as possible civil rights violations, the ABA will continue to monitor and ensure that justice is served. While our Constitution protects freedom of speech and expression, it most definitely does not condone or allow violence against its people.

The level of what passes for discourse in our nation has become so divisive and driven by differences and hatred, that we have lost sight of the values that unite us. We need to regain that communal desire to improve the lives and protect the rights of all.

The ABA knows the principles that govern our country – respect for the rule of law, tolerance for the beliefs and freedoms of others, and a deep dedication to uphold the Constitution – are strong and will prevail over the forces of hate and racism. We are dedicated to defending the tenets that have allowed the United States to succeed and flourish for two and half centuries.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

- American Bar Association