WJTV News Channel 12 - Public defender offended by alleged remarks made by Durham polic

Attorneys release statements condemning remarks made by Durham police chief

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -

A total of three attorneys have released statements condemning remarks Durham Police Chief allegedly made concerning a shooting victim.

Letters penned by James E. Williams Jr., Kenneth Rose, and Jennifer Harjo all reference a lack of respect from Chief Jose Lopez if the allegations of offensive remarks are true.

Williams said Lopez showed extreme callousness towards shooting victim David Hall.

Hall, a public defender in Durham, was injured as an innocent bystander in a shooting on June 22 on Gray Avenue. Another victim of the same shooting died two days later.

Harjo, president of the North Carolina Public Defender Association, echoed Williams' remarks by saying any lack of respect shown towards public defenders is unwarranted and shows ignorance to the duties of the occupation.

"Police officers have an obligation to protect all citizens, regardless of race,
occupation or other prejudice," Harjo said.

Rose said if the allegation is true, the "remark suggests disdain for criminal defense attorneys."

Assistant Police Chief Winslow Forbes filed a charge of discrimination against Lopez earlier in August accusing the chief of making racially discriminatory comments and actions.

One alleged remark made by Lopez centered around Hall.

Forbes claims Lopez said Hall "deserved to get shot because he was a public defender."

"He (Lopez) has show great disrespect for the United States Constitution," Williams wrote.

Williams said public defenders "protect all citizens from potential police misconduct or prosecutorial authority."

Williams continues by saying the alleged remarks made by Lopez need to be investigated thoroughly.

 

 

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