This year was ushered in with a somber reminder of the Center’s founding. The Center for Law and Justice was founded twenty-seven years ago in response to prevailing police brutality, which exacerbated with the police killing of Jessie Davis, a young African American man. This devastating moment marked a pivotal point in the deteriorating relationship between the Albany police department and the African-American community. The Center for Law and Justice was founded in 1985 in wake of the community outrage that followed this series of events. The Center helped keep the case before the public, gave moral support to the Davis family, assisted attorneys with a federal lawsuit against the city, and organized community demonstrations and fundraising events to cover legal expenses related to the family’s suit.
On December 29, 2011, another police shooting resulted in the death of a young, African American man, Nah-Cream Moore. While the circumstances of the two incidents varied, the result was the same: the death of a member of our community, and thusly a voice that needed to be heard. On January 6, 2012, the Center for Law and Justice convened a press conference. Executive Director, Dr. Alice Green, declared the Center’s objective to grant a voice to Nah-Cream Moore through a full, impartial investigation of his death. She urged the police department to establish and maintain a relationship with the community based on truth and trust through this fragile time and beyond. The tragic loss of both of these men and the innumerable stories of individual encounters with the criminal justice system from Center clients over the past 27 years have helped to shape the Center’s mission.
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