Lawyer at center of Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez controversy speaks out

Defense Attorney David Hall
September 16, 2013 3:37:41 PM PDT
The injured lawyer at the center of an alleged comment made by Durham's police chief is speaking out.

Defense Attorney David Hall says he's taking on what he considers racial discrimination and police brutality in the City of Durham at a rally Monday evening.

Hall says the comment about him allegedly made by the police chief sort of took on a life of its own, but it's now a springboard for what he considers serious racial disparities.

Hall is still recovering. He was wounded in a drive-by shooting in June, and then wounded by an alleged comment made by Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez.

"I think his apology speaks for itself and I'd like to move on from that," said Hall.

Hall is hoping to raise awareness about what he considers the bigger issues: racial discrimination and police brutality.

"Not that Chief Lopez is responsible for the culture, but he is the catalyst for change being the chief," said Hall.

That's why Hall and his supporters are calling on all Durham city leaders, from the mayor to the city council, to participate in racial equity training.

It comes after a member of the Durham Police Department's command staff alleged that Lopez said Hall, who was an innocent bystander in a fatal shooting, deserved to be shot because he was a public defender. Lopez has since apologized, saying he doesn't recall making the statement.

However, it's an attitude Hall says he encountered the day after he was shot when a Durham officer came to his home.

"He wanted to know how could sleep with myself at night being a defense attorney," said Hall. "So yes, I do believe there's a culture that permeates but I also believe that it can be changed."

Rally participants will march from police headquarters to City Hall. They also plan on addressing the issue at a city work session later this week.

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