Posts in category "Civil Rights"

End Racial Profiling in Durham Now

For years I have represented young black male and Hispanic drivers who describe being stopped for no good reason, and searched without result. One of my clients was TASERed for refusing to extinguish his cigarette after he was stopped for what a judge later determined was no legitimate reason.  (http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/papers/Trial_Briefs_Ian_Mance_2012.pdf ) These people feel like victims of a bully that they cannot stand up to. I have long fought racial profiling as a disease in our beloved community. People should not be treated like criminals, targeted for investigation, because of the color of their skin. It is humiliating.

Racial profiling has … read more »

What do you really do? – A Summary of my Criminal and Civil Rights Practice

I have received many requests lately for a wide variety of assistance, and I wanted to clarify what kind of work I do.

I make a living working as an attorney. Most of my practice focuses on criminal defense. I practice trial courts and appeals court at both the state and federal level. I also handle post-conviction cases, which involve trying to overturn convictions after the appeal period is over based upon new evidence.

I take a small number of civil rights cases. I screen these cases very carefully, and only take a select few. These cases are usually claims for excessive … read more »

Guilty of Neglect

I was sitting in the corner of the cramped court room at the Durham County Jail when they rolled an inmate wearing orange into the courtroom in a wheel chair. I was waiting my turn to ask for a bond reduction for a client, and had about a lot other things waiting for me at the office.  The Assistant District Attorney read the guy’s name and his charges: “On or about October 22, 2010, you unlawfully and willfully did solicit passers-by on Fayetteville Road for money.” I was appalled. So was the judge. A homeless guy in a wheel chair … read more »

Civil Rights Work: Breaking Walls and Building Bridges

I have represented female police officers fighting for equal treatment at work, gay and lesbian victims of hate crimes, an African American family chased at gun point by a member of the KKK, persons with mental health problems arrested and tasered without cause, people who are stopped, harassed, and arrested because of their race. The work of a civil rights lawyer often seems to focus on breaking down walls in our society that perpetuate inequality and oppression. Privilege and power constantly builds these walls on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual oreintation, disability, and age. It is … read more »