Albany County DA criticized by civil rights leaders

Posted at: 09/05/2013 5:18 PM
Updated at: 09/05/2013 6:01 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - The president of the Albany chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bernard Bryan, has some harsh criticism for Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

"The district attorney, Mr. Soares, in trying to allay the fears of white suburbanites has basically turned his back on his own community," Bryan said Thursday at a news conference.

Bryan joined Center for Law and Justice Director Alice Green and others Thursday. Their topic was improvements in the relationship between the Albany community and its police department.

We asked for reaction to the treatment Deputy County Executive Christine Quinn received on felony drug fraud charges versus ordinary drug defendants, many of them young minority males.

"We believe that people are treated differently in the system," said Green. "There's no doubt about that."

We left a detailed message for the Soares' media contact. There was no comment, but over the past two days Soares has insisted there are no special favors in his office.

"Any person in Albany County who would find themselves similarly situated to the facts that are contained in this particular allegation would be subjected to the same kind of treatment," Soares said Wednesday. 

Bryan strongly disagrees.

"It's been a disappointment and for him to claim that there's a single level of justice dispensed on his watch is a bald-faced fabrication and he knows it," Bryan said.