As a pastor and a consistent activist against police brutality, violence and oppression in her community, Rev. Joy Powell was warned by the Rochester Police department that she was a target because of her speaking out against corruption. On many occasions Rev. Joy had held rallies and spoke out against the police brutality and “police justifications” in Rochester NY. As a result, Rev. Joy was accused of 1st Degree Burglary and Assault on October 9, 2006. She was later charged with a second degree murder.
An all white jury tried her; the state provided no evidence and no eyewitnesses. Rev. Joy was not allowed to discuss her activism or say that she was a pastor. The person that testified for her was not allowed to tell the court that he knew Rev. Joy through their activist work and through the church. Furthermore, the judge Francis Affronti promised he was going to give her a harsh sentence. She was convicted and given 38 years to life. Rev Joy Powell is more than sure her case was politically motivated based on her activism for equality and justice for all.