Dave is a graduate of Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, North Carolina Central University’s School of Law, and NCCU’s Master’s program at the School of Business Administration. Dave decided to go to law school when he learned first-hand that community lawyering could protect communities of color from the damage done by government-funded gentrification in Charlotte, where he previously lived.
After graduating law school in 2008, he started his own practice as an indigent defense attorney, representing people one at a time as they navigated the criminal legal system.
Dave has practiced in almost every court in Durham, including District Court, where he represented people in criminal, juvenile, and abuse, neglect and dependency cases. He's also practiced in Durham’s Superior Court. In addition to his work in the Durham County Courts, Dave has represented individuals in over 60 courthouses across North Carolina.
In 2013, as an innocent bystander, Dave was a victim of gun violence and shortly thereafter left private practice to pursue an area that required much-needed attention. Dave had a new perspective from which to answer the question “what does safety look like for my family and the community?” He believes safety looks like accountability and opportunity for those who’ve had contact with the criminal legal system.
After volunteering at an expunction clinic for Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), he soon found himself working as a civil rights attorney for SCSJ. His mission at SCSJ was to end mass incarceration. The Criminal Justice team at SCSJ attacked this lofty goal by listening to and working with those directly affected by the criminal legal system and addressing their needs and concerns.
During the course of his work, he has been in coalition with groups including; FADE, All Of Us or None, Participatory Defense, Drug Policy Alliance, Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Fair Housing, ACLU, and more. Dave has worked directly on issues such as expungements, driver’s license restoration, housing, and employment.
Dave is a devoted family man. Married for over 25 years, he and his wife, Tia, have 3 children - Kimani, a university graduate, Khari, a college senior, and Anika, a high-school freshman.