Lawyer warns students of potential poor choices

Minority rights in danger of violation, going unnoticed.

The mistakes made in college, such as credit card default, has ramifications after graduation, said Noah L. Holcomb Jr., attorney at law.

Holcomb, sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, cautioned students Monday about the potential consequences of their financial decisions. Bad credit can grow if bills or rent are not paid on time, he said, and the extent of the growth could catch students off guard.

Holcomb said that criminal and civil law relate to college students because they have reached the age where they can be held legally responsible.

He also told the students that most of their vital information is digital from birth to present day.

"Everything about you is on computer," he said. "As we speak, your fingerprints are classified and computerized."

Holcomb also said minorities and their rights as citizens, particulary when dealing with police, tend to be abused.

To support his claim, Holcomb cited real cases he has worked on or has heard about. Once, a woman was killed, Holcomb said, because police mistook her cell phone for a gun.

Another time, a man was set up by undercover police. The police asked him where they could get drugs. The man took them to a crack house near a school. The police talked the man into going into the building with them. The police then arrested him and an accomplice.

However, at the trial, the police said the man entered the crack house alone. Eventually, Holcomb proved by written reports that the police did enter with the man. The case was ultimately dismissed.

Holcomb said the seminar was successful, and he thought the students had learned new and vital information about their rights .

"I can tell a lot of them were unaware of a lot of things, especially in situations where people have done nothing wrong," Holcomb said.

Junior Nataki Sanders said she did not know all of her rights prior to the speech.

"It gave me knowledge of my rights that I did not know I have," Sanders said. "It was very helpful."

Junior Andy Dunton said it gave him a better understanding of how attorneys work.

"At some point you will have to work with an attorney," he said. "To see how they work now gives you better insight on how to work with them later on in life when you need to."

Holcomb said that because of recent events, it was important to speak to the students and encourage them to know their rights.

"There is a great lack of knowledge in regard to one's rights, both civil and criminal," Holcomb said. "When you combine that with more enforcing law tactics, the potential for the abuse of the rights of minorities is greater than it was before Sept. 11."


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