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National racial profiling case spotlights concept of expungement

It was a pretty big deal last month. If the news somehow escaped your scrutiny, you could be acquainted with the details later this month in the event you find your local Starbucks temporarily closed for company training on a sensitive topic.

What happened in early February at a Philadelphia Starbucks "evoked a lot of pain," said city Mayor Jim Kenney in the wake of news images showing two black men being led out of a franchise outlet in handcuffs.

Their crime, apparently: being black.

An employee called the cops because the men declined to make a purchase while waiting for a white acquaintance to show up. They were at the establishment for a realty-related business meeting.

What Philadelphia got was a prominent black eye for racial profiling.

We find the case quite relevant to our criminal defense blog posts at Shazam & Kianpour Associates in Denver. The two men quickly settled with the city for a symbolic single dollar and the municipality's promised commitment to making some positive changes in the future. The criminal charges against them were expunged.

As we note on our website, expungement can spell a vitally important outcome to many individuals who would otherwise continue to be punished in myriad ways for involvement with the criminal justice system (denied job offers, social stigma, failed promotions and so forth). Having a criminal record expunged or sealed can help a person "start putting life together again with a clean slate."

We help some of our clients do just that, and take great pride in our role helping individuals free themselves of enduring punishment that unfairly shackles them in many ways.

Record sealing is not automatic in Colorado for individuals who qualify for it. Questions or concerns regarding the process can be directed to an experienced criminal defense firm.

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