"I was walking down First Avenue, heading to CVS. And two police cars pulled over and stopped, and rolled down the window and one of them asked, 'Are you Isaac Wright?' " he recalled this week. "When I said yes, they immediately got out and asked me to take pictures with them in front of the police car."
The experience was an altogether different sort of run-in with law enforcement than that for which Wright, whose life story is fictionalized in the ABC drama For Life, became known.
As For Life viewers are familiar, Wright served seven years in prison for a wrongful conviction, studying law behind bars before working as a proxy lawyer for fellow inmates and eventually proving his own innocence in court.
Now, more than a decade later, he has his sights set on another goal that would have seemed unattainable at the time of his imprisonment: the New York City mayor's office.
Wright officially declared his candidacy for mayor on Tuesday, with a promise to "address the racial, economic, environmental, and educational injustices that plague our city's institutions."
Speaking with PEOPLE, Wright explains what led him to launch the campaign: a combination of concerns about New York's future and a feeling that he was positioned to govern in the current political and social climate...
RELATED VIDEOWRONGFULLY CONVICTED MAN RUNS FOR MAYOR: "If I can do what I did alone, what do you think I can accomplish with 300,000 employees?' — Meet Isaac Wright Jr., a candidate for NYC mayor who won his own freedom from a life in prison after a wrongful conviction