T. Greg Doucette is exhausting to follow on Twitter. He'll clog up your feed with retweets, quotes of tweets, and, several times a week, topical tweetstorms spanning dozens of tweets—two dozen or more an hour when he gets worked up. If you're interested in the gory intestines of the criminal justice system, though, Doucette is a must-follow: a wellspring of knowledge eager to share his opinions, which are wonky but also rooted in real experiences in the guts of courthouses and police precincts.
Earlier this year, one of Doucette's rants broke through the deafening din of his own feed and caught on with enough politicians, journalists, and other influential Twitter users to achieve something like virality: thousands of retweets and even a couple of online news stories aggregating his thoughts.
Over the course of forty tweets, Doucette, whose Durham law firm practices small-business advisement and criminal defense, unspooled a tale about one of his favorite topics: black males getting arrested on false charges. He described a young black male charged with reckless driving. The arresting officer wrote in his report that the client was doing 360-degree donuts in the middle of the road. Doucette's client insisted he had merely swerved to avoid an animal. Doucette went to the scene and took a photo, which clearly supported his client's version—just some skid marks abruptly angling toward the sidewalk.
"Do I hate police?" Doucette tweeted. "No. I hate raging incompetent cowboys w/ badges financed by my tax money who clearly haven't had an eye exam recently. The DA was kind enough to dismiss the case without putting up a fight. My client's family is out what they paid me. Client himself is traumatized. And basis for police mistrust gets a fresh exhibit. While the officer who (wrongfully) charged him—and pretty clearly lied on official court documents will face ~0~ repercussions."
"This is what police brutality looks like. It's not just people having their rights violated and the sh*t kicked out of them," he continued. "It's an innocent 17yo black kid trying to be a good human being and not running over a cat getting thrown headlong into our court system. It's having to come up with money you don't have, to defend yourself against charges that shouldn't have been filed."
And more: "The State doesn't care of course. For every one case dismissed, hundreds more plead guilty. Court costs are $188+ apiece. A day's worth of traffic cases can finance an ADA's salary for a year. Likewise for a clerk or a judge. Guess what that means for legislators? They can cut preexisting court funding and put it somewhere where it'll buy them more votes. So you've got a court system that ends up somehow being underfunded despite charging a sh*tload of money for minor offenses. Police routing more and more people (predominantly young and black) into the court system, patting themselves on the back."
Finally: "Welcome to the clusterf*ck that is our criminal justice system. I filed to run for the State Senate precisely b/c of this bullsh*t. It doesn't matter if you put an R or a D or a U beside your name—this is wrong."