“Your honor, in light of what’s happening in this country with unarmed black men being killed by police, him running from shots being fired is a very reasonable response,” public defender Dale Miller said to Broward County (FL) Judge John “Jay” Hurley.
“Don’t give me that,” Hurley said, clearly irritated. “That is so off base.”
The client in question is Stephen Hall Clarke, facing charges of armed burglary, conspiracy and resisting arrest. His arrest occurred after a bullet shattered the windshield of the Fort Lauderdale undercover police sergeant’s unmarked patrol car and grazed his head while he was following a suspicious vehicle.
“We’ve got a young man, I don’t care what color he is, he’s in a neighborhood he doesn’t live in at 1:41 in the morning, hiding under somebody’s dock in the water with a holster on after a police officer had a shot taken at him,” Hurley said, referring to Clarke’s arrest.
“Don’t hand me this, ‘running from police brutality [argument],'” the Judge continued. “That is not appropriate in this case. I’m not going to let you poison this case with bringing in something that has nothing to do with it.”
Hurley then called a recess to regain his composure.
“I just want to apologize,” Hurley said. “I got a little worked up there but I just want to be clear that we stick to the facts of the case and we don’t go off on tangents.”
Judge Hurley then apologized again to Miller by saying the outburst was nothing personal.
“I have a way of drawing that out of people, your honor,” said Miller.
It’s nice to see a lawyer admitting he’s good at pissing people off.