Story by TOM HALLMAN JR.
DeQuandre Davis’ father was a legend, a feared and respected leader of the Crips until rival gangsters shot him dead in a Northeast Portland street in 1990. He left behind a 1-year-old, a son who would be schooled by the street, spend time in prison and have an extensive rap sheet by age 24.
Stacie Beckerman’s father was a legendary Iowa attorney, a do-gooder who served on the nonprofit boards and at his church but died of a heart attack three weeks after she graduated from Harvard Law School. At 41, Beckerman was a federal prosecutor with a reputation for toughness.
They were brought together two years ago. She thought he looked like a sullen thug. He thought she looked like a strict high school principal. Then something changed.
What happens when two people who come from different worlds are forced to meet twice a month for nearly a year?
They discover heart.
The one thing we all have in common.
From the outset, Beckerman knew Davis’ case would be easier than her normal workload at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Gang and Sex Trafficking Unit.
In June 2013, police stopped a car full of men in Northeast Portland and found a gun in the pocket of a coat left by Davis. Already a felon after a robbery conviction as a teen, he was prohibited from carrying a gun. At arraignment, the judge released Davis from jail and required him to undergo random drug screening. He soon tested positive for marijuana. Beckerman thought he was dangerous, and argued he be held until trial.
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