*Well, there is at least one judge who doesn’t hesitate to let the court know exactly how he feels…personally and without apology.
Local reports say a judge put the parents of a little girl they say is in “constant fear of black men” on blast in the courtroom.
According to the Daily News, the parents say their child’s fear began with a home invasion on the family two years ago; by two black men who robbed them at gunpoint while the little girl was watching “SpongeBob Squarepants” on TV.
Judge Olu Stevens has been criticized on social media because he gave the robber, who pleaded guilty, only five years probation. The family and its supporters believe a harsher sentence should have been given.
Though Stevens does not downplay the serious nature of the crime, and the seriousness of a child being traumatized, he doesn’t hesitate to make it known that he is personally offended by what he believes is the parents’ attitude of fostering stereotypes. (Scroll down to watch him as he reads a statement).
The judge makes it clear to the attorney representing the family that he doesn’t believe for one second that the child would fear all white men had the crime been committed by them and he criticized parents, Jordan and Tammy Gray, for how they handled their daughter’s problem.
“Whenever we are running errands, if we come across a Black male, she holds me tight and begs me to leave,” he reads from a statement written by Tammy Gray. “It has affected her friendships at school and our relationships with African-American friends.”
The deeply offended judge, an African American, said in the video,
“This little girl certainly has been victimized, and she can’t help the way she feels,” but he continued with his criticism of the parents saying,
“My exception is more with her parents and their accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes.”
Stevens also stated that the parents’ testimony had no role in his decision when he sentenced twenty-seven-year-old Gregory Wallace, who pleaded guilty to the crime on March 21, 2013, to five years of probation.
No word on what will happen to the accomplice.
The judge later defended his sentencing decision on Facebook.
“As for my ‘wrath,’ I had none. I leave wrath to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and others disgruntled by the ultimate decision. I did not criticize the daughter. I cautioned the parents against racial stereotyping. If necessary, I will stand alone. I have no animus toward anyone. I have consistently been here for over five years. I look forward to continuing to see you on this medium and in court.”
Stevens’ decision in court led to a mountain of criticism against him. After hearing the story supporters of the family are upset and believe the armed robber should get a more harsh sentence. Some supporters are even calling for the removal of Judge Stevens from his position.
Thus far, there is no reaction to that request.
Scroll down to see judge Olu Stevens in court and let us know how you feel about him stating his personal feelings in court.