A black judge in Louisville, Kentucky, has been suspended for 90-days without pay for apparent racism against an attorney’s attempt to seat an all-white jury for a black man’s case.
According to Reuters, the attorney challenged the judge’s apparent racism, saying that Olu Stevens had dismissed the all-white panel during his case, which he felt Stevens could not do.
What’s more, Stevens took to Facebook to slam attorney Tom Wine for his decision over the jury, which was added to the charges leading up to his suspension.
It would appear that racism specifically tends to follow Olu Stevens all the way to the court because three weeks prior, footage was released which showed a white man who called the judge the n-word outside in the hallway.
Update on Olu Stevens case: 90 day unpaid suspension was erroneously calculated. It's now thru Nov. 6 (not Oct. 30) pic.twitter.com/kJgLrTXJkl— Matthew Glowicki (@MattGlo) August 11, 2016
The video shows the judge having the man called back into the courtroom, reprimanding him for the use of the word. However, in the beginning, the man says that it was his brother who said it, not him. But then he admits to being the one who said it, as he says that he didn’t mean it the way it sounded.
A few years ago, the The Louisville Eater suggested that a lawsuit against a restaurant which was referred to by Alternet as the most racist restaurant in America, was likely settled because judge Olu Stevens dismissed it with prejudice, a ruling which prevents the plaintiff from bringing up the lawsuit again.
In 2015, the Courier-Journal reported on a incident where the judge felt that he had to point out the racism of two parents of a 3-year old toddler, who were watching television when a man with a gun broke into her home. The couple released a statement which said that she was afraid of black men.
“Whenever we are running errands, if we come across a black male, she holds me tight and begs me to leave. It has affected her friendships at school and our relationships with African-American friends.”
And while he said that it would not determine how he would decide the case, he ended up giving the man who broke into the home a light sentence, which infuriated the parents of the child who began to try to get him removed from the bench.
At the time, however, Stevens brought those same details of this case of racism into Facebook, as he did with the recent case, which the county referred to during the recent suspension.
Despite the fact that both the judge and attorney have apologized to each other, and claim that they have no ill-will towards each other, the fact that he was suspended also reveals what many feel is racism towards the judge.
Over the past several years, the argument that blacks are being racist towards whites has become a popular and more common argument to be made. Many have sided to defend that point to say there are two-sides to the same coin, where groups such as Black Lives Matter are also being associated with racism.
The candidacy of Donald Trump helps to aid this point-of-view, as many groups which used to be considered white supremacy groups, are re-branding the message, to protect the Anglo-European from becoming the “minority.” Such is the case with former leader of the Klu Klux Klan, David Duke, who has decided to run for local government, publicly saying that Trump’s presidency makes this possible.
Olu Stevens had also initially challenged the racism charges, but eventually accepted the suspension. Many of his supporters are up-in-arms, saying that they need someone like him on the bench, to fight against racism from the other side.
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