Students Present Before International Commission as Part of New Lawyering a Movement Course

Press Date
March 26, 2021


(L-R) 3Ls Shaer and Steen presenting before the International Commission of Inquiry on
Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States


This semester, FSU Law offered Lawyering a Movement: #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd, a new course taught by nationally renowned civil rights attorneys and FSU Law alumni Benjamin Crump (’95) and Jasmine Rand (’09). The six-week short course evaluated the intersection of criminal law, civil law and social justice advocacy through the lens of the police killings of George Floyd and others. Students were challenged to conceptualize the role of the attorney outside of the courtroom and learned how attorneys strategically utilize media, social media, the arts and partnerships to advance social-justice movements, to accomplish specific legal goals and to advocate for systemic reform.

As part of the course, third-year law students Nabeha Shaer and Chad Steen advocated for Michael Brown's family in their case before the International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States for the purpose of providing information the United Nations. The hearings were a process by which witnesses could present accounts of the unjustified killings of Black people by police officers in the United States before an international panel of human rights experts.

In addition to presentations by Rand, Crump and Michael Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden, Shaer presented on the number of injured protestors and the attacks on media following the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Steen presented on systemic reform laws that have been enacted since Michael Brown’s death and stated, "despite all of this, since 2017, police in America have shot and killed at least 893 Black individuals with at least 226 of those shootings happening just last year.”

A video recording and transcript of the hearing on the case of Michael Brown can be found online. “It has been a true honor to be entrusted with this type of work, particularly by Michael Brown's mother,” said Shaer. “I am so grateful to FSU Law for securing this necessary class with these phenomenal professors and leaders.” 

Crump is the founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law. As the attorney to the families of Michael Brown, George Floyd and many others who have died during interactions with police, Crump has become a central figure in America’s civil rights and justice reform movements. Rand is the founding attorney of Rand Law, L.L.C., a Miami-based civil litigation firm. She is known for her civil rights work, representation of the Michael Brown family, and current work as the international legal and media strategist for the George Floyd legal team.

Published on March 26, 2021