The Legal Rights Center, Inc. (LRC) seeks outstanding candidates to join our team as Deputy Director for Community Legal Services. The Deputy Director for Community Legal Services is a staff officer at the Legal Rights Center and a core member of the leadership team, supporting and advancing the organization’s mission. They must be qualified to lead and support LRC’s legal and community work.
See the full posting here.
Please email a letter explaining your interest in the position and your resume to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Finalists will be asked to provide multiple professional references.
For questions or more information, please call Sarah Davis at 612-677-2124.
On Wednesday, September 15th, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the 3rd Degree Murder conviction of Mohamed Noor, the former Minneapolis Police Officer who shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk while responding to a call for help. The Minnesota Supreme Court clarified that the mental-state required to be convicted of 3rd Degree Murder—Depraved Mind, “is a generalized indifference to human life, which cannot exist when the defendant’s conduct is directed with particularity at the person who is killed.” Because Mr. Noor’s actions were directed specifically at his victim, his conduct, as a matter of law, did not meet the requirements to sustain a conviction for 3rd Degree Murder. He will remain convicted of 2nd Degree Manslaughter, and return to court to be sentenced on that charge, which carries a lesser possible penalty.
This decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court is not a surprise. As we stated back in May 2020 when the Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged Derek Chauvin and his co-defendants with 3rd Degree Murder as the highest charge for the killing of George Floyd, this was never an appropriate charge for Chauvin and his co-defendants. It was, and still is, inconceivable that experienced, professional Hennepin County prosecutors did not recognize the potential flaws in the Third Degree Murder charge for the officers' murder of George Floyd.
In Chauvin and his co-defendants cases, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office took over as lead prosecution and added 2nd degree murder charges. Chauvin was ultimately convicted on all charges against him at trial (his co-defendant's are scheduled for trial on March 7, 2020). Therefore, although Chauvin's 3rd Degree Murder conviction will almost certainly be overturned on appeal as well, it is highly unlikely that he will receive a sentence reduction because he was ultimately sentenced on 2nd Degree Murder, which is not impacted by the Supreme Court's decision in this case.
It is with simultaneous feelings of great joy and loss that we announce that our Deputy Director for Community Legal Services, Andrew Gordon, has been appointed by Governor Tim Walz to serve as a judge in the Second Judicial District (Ramsey County). Andrew has been a crucial member of our organization since he joined us in 2010. Whether advocating for the rights of individual clients or for transformative change in the legal system, Andrew’s passion, integrity, and legal brilliance has been a gift to our organization. He will be missed around the offices of the Legal Rights Center but we couldn’t be more excited for Andrew and the broader community as he takes this next step.
Andrew’s last day at the Legal Rights Center will be September 3rd. For questions, contact Executive Director Sarah Davis at email@example.com
The Legal Rights Center stands with CUAPB, RJN, TCC4J and all other concerned community members in opposition to the use of private military contractors against protestors, those holding space, and community members in the Uptown neighborhood. We are extremely troubled by reports that employees of Conflict Resolution Group (‘CRG’) have used needless and excessive force on multiple occasions, causing severe injuries to innocent people. And we are very concerned that the work of CRG is being done in coordination with the city of Minneapolis. That the Minneapolis Police Department did not intervene when CRG attacked the residents they are sworn to protect further erodes what little trust this community has in its police department. The violence against our community must end now.
The Legal Rights Center remains committed to working alongside the community to address issues of equity, racial injustice and all forms of oppression. We will continue to support the Twin Cities community by working with the community to host teach-ins, community forums, advocating for youth, and representing the most vulnerable members of our communities in criminal court.
by Rashard Zanders
Gone way too soon at the age of 46, a man's life was cruelly taken one year ago. His death became a spark that re-invigorated and galvanized activists old and young to take to the streets in a global call for justice that continues to build momentum a year after the tragedy.
Although it was Derek Chauvin and his three accomplices who murdered George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020, our entire criminal legal system was complicit. Had it not been for the courage of Darnella Frazier, the Black teen who used her cell phone to record the remorseless MPD officers, the official statement calling Mr. Floyd’s death a “medical incident after a police interaction” would have been treated as fact.
George Floyd should be among the living today. And while the the movements for Black lives, legal system transformation, and social justice have spread globally, we must center all discussion of Mr. Floyd's death in accurate language – it was a tragedy.
During Chauvin's trial, the Legal Rights Center's attorney's, restorative facilitators, advocates, investigators and staff have worked with other allies from communities most affected by systemic oppression in the cause for social justice. The Derek Chauvin murder trial was one of the most widely watched U.S. trials in history, with global citizenry able to observe the minutiae that makes up a trial: from jury selection and opening statements, through cross examination, to closing arguments and the verdict. Sentencing still awaits. Nonetheless, the whole world was able to witness first hand the unraveling of the long held myth that in the United States, that Lady Justice is blind.
LRC will continue our community outreach, to expand our growing circle of partners in the cause for Black lives and social justice for all. We are planning another Perspectives on Justice panel to be held before Derek Chauvin’s sentencing, as well as a full calendar of events this summer (get excited for teach-ins, visioning sessions, and more!) to build community with those interested in being involved in legal system transformation. We will also be uplifting the stories of community members who have had direct experience with the criminal legal system, in support of a community vision of justice.
The invitation is ever-standing for educators, journalists, community leaders, and our neighbors to connect with us - let's build deeper partnerships and access our resources together.
George Floyd's life mattered. The taking of his life will never be forgotten. And our communities have shown yet again that we are capable of great feats of endurance. So the work continues.
This week will be flush with events commemorating the tragedy, a watershed moment which compelled so many to join the movement for Black lives, bringing us to this present movement for social change. Other commemorative events include:
LRC staff include attorneys and advocates from a range of background and lived experiences.
The Legal Rights Center
1611 Park Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
P: 612-337-0030 F: 612-337-0797
The Legal Rights Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit financially supported by: the State of Minnesota, foundations, local law firms, corporations and individuals. Clients are never charged for our services.