Expanding Our Police Accountability Work

Police Accountability, Racial Justice

Lawyers for Civil Rights Deepens and Expands Police Accountability Work

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) was founded to marshal the legal resources of the private bar to address ongoing civil rights challenges. More than five decades later, there is still a critical need for legal advocacy coupled with community-based activism to address stark disparities in policing, particularly surrounding violent and fatal incidents disproportionately affecting Black lives. The video recorded lynching of George Floyd in Minneapolis amply demonstrates this crisis. The lack of justice for the shooting of Terrence Coleman in Boston confirms this alarming and disturbing trend. The racial profiling and unlawful seizure of Marvin Henry in Needham, Massachusetts, further illustrates that suburban communities are not immune from discriminatory law enforcement practices. 

In response to this racial crisis, LCR is providing free life-changing legal support to countless survivors of police brutality and misconduct. 

LCR is now deepening this longstanding commitment to police accountability by growing its legal team to expand our life-changing work. We are proud to announce that Attorney Arielle Sharma has joined LCR’s team of legal first responders to provide additional support to people of color surrounding issues of police misconduct, particularly in Central and Western Massachusetts. Attorney Sharma will amplify LCR’s existing work which includes filing cutting-edge lawsuits on behalf of people of color who experience racial profiling and other types of police abuse; creating community conversations on the intersection of racial justice and institutional power; and demanding diversity, equality, and accountability in law enforcement procedures, policies and practices. 

Attorney Sharma joins LCR after serving as a public defender in Worcester County, Massachusetts, where she dedicated her practice to defending low-income clients accused of committing crimes in the criminal legal system. 

“As a first generation American of color, I was taught that America is the land of equal opportunity and justice,” said Attorney Sharma. “And yet, I regularly witnessed our law enforcement agencies and criminal justice systems fall short. I look forward to developing inimitable litigation bringing forth justice for people of color and marginalized communities.” 

“Given Arielle’s deep commitment to underrepresented communities of color in Worcester and her vigor for challenging the status quo, she is precisely the right addition to LCR’s creative, bold, and courageous legal team,” said Sophia Hall, Supervising Attorney at LCR.

Arielle currently co-chairs the Worcester Bar Association’s newly formed Subcommittee on Anti-Racism and Equality. She also volunteers as a Legal Observer with the Connecticut National Lawyers Guild. Arielle graduated magna cum laude from Boston University, and from the University of Connecticut School of Law with honors. She is a member of the bars of New York and Massachusetts. 

Attorney Sharma’s bio is available here