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LaDoris Cordell Faces Big Challenge In New Role As San Jose Police Auditor

Publication Date: 
April 18, 2010
San Jose Mercury News
Sean Webby

Professor Barbara Babcock is quoted on recently appointed police watchdog LaDoris Cordell. Sean Webby of the San Jose Mercury filed this story:

The knock against San Jose's newly appointed police watchdog LaDoris Cordell is that she will flat-out not be objective. She's a former judge, an avowed liberal who publicly disdained the controversial "three strikes" law, and a passionate civil rights activist who says she personally experienced racial profiling as a young woman.

Yet, there she was in the early 1970s, a fiery, Philadelphia-bred, African-American law student at Stanford, taking a stand against many of her white classmates in a legal ethics class. The majority rushed to the defense of a black Oakland attorney disbarred for persuading someone to lie in court. They cited his background as a working-class man who had dealt with racism. Not Cordell.

"LaDoris just let go and said, 'You don't have go to a great law school to know that it is wrong to lie,' " said Barbara Babcock, a Stanford law professor.