Local Hero #16: Chad Williams
When Chad Williams, a resident of Brooklyn, was a junior at Buffalo State College, he had an experience that changed his life: While out on a Saturday night, he was wrongly accused of,arrested for, and charged with third degree assault. In that moment, he became one of the millions of African American men who have been targeted by the brutal, systemic racism of the American court system. He had a public defender who would not give him the time of day and a judge who treated him like just another statistic.
After a year of going back and forth to court and battling against odds that were clearly stacked against him, Chad was able to prove his innocence. Knowing that 10,000 people per year are convicted for crimes they did not commit, Chad vowed to make change. His experience with the legal system led him to launch Doo Process, an apparel company whose name is a spin-off of the legal term Due Process, which refers to our right to fair treatment through the judicial system. Chad describes dooProcess as "a street-wear brand that not only creates aesthetically pleasing clothes, but also has an underlying meaning to them through their designs."
"By purchasing dooProcess apparel you will not only be showing that you stand for no injustices, but you will also be putting money towards the fight against it. 15% of every purchase will be donated to a defense fund whose main goal is to raise awareness and achieve social justice. We are not only a brand, but a movement."
In his own words, Chad describes the process that led to the creation of his most recent t-shirt:
"In the case of George Floyd, he was murdered unjustly by 4 men. Those 4 men were police officers of the Minneapolis Police Department and swore under oath to abide by all rules of an officer of the law. By suffocating George to death as he cried out for his mother, they showed a total disregard for law enforcement regulations. They took the rule book and threw it out of the window.I picked up that book and reviewed the regulations they are supposed to follow. From that, I selected 3 critical rules that ALL police officers are supposed to follow, and I put them on a shirt.
I am giving away these shirts at local protests for free. For the person wearing such a shirt, if they are ever to be on the ground in handcuffs by the police, those officers of the law CANNOT ignore the guidelines that they are supposed to follow. Because it will be right before their eyes to remind them of the oath they have sworn to, which includes to never use force in excess. I believe this shirt could save a life."
The mission behind dooProcess, as Chad explains, is to "bring awareness to the injustices of the justice system through street wear."
Here is a link to a video that illustrates beautifully the story behind his protest t-shirt:
Here is a link to contribute to the fund which allows Chad to give the the t-shirts away for free:
Thank you, Chad, for your courage, creativity, and purposeful entrepreneurship.
To connect with Chad:
Instagram: Doo Process
(Photo Credit: Yasin Mehmood)
Chad handed out his t-shirt to a Juneteenth rally/bbq organized by The New BLQK Leaders
My Local Heroes is a celebration of Brooklynites who hold down the fort and make lives go better with little fanfare and a lot of heart and smarts.
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