A retired Louisiana Judge filling in for Juvenile Court Judge Adam Haney in open court racially profiled a Baton Rouge area high school football player. According to a video by the minors attorney, Niles Haymber, the “ad-hoc judge” told his Baton Rouge area client, “You look like the thugs I see on TV at night on the news, you look like you fell out of a tree.”
Haymer posted a video on social media on Thursday afternoon expressing his disappointment in the judges behavior. Haymer’s facebook status for the video read, “Unfortunately, society still judges young African American males on what is perceived to be negative traits rather than the content of their character. This is just a little talk about my experience in Juvenile Court today.”
In the video Haymer talks about how his 16 year old client who is in the 10th grade was set to receive probation. While the judge was beginning to address his client before issuing his sentence the judge began to spout off his opinion of the young mans hair. According to Haymer his client has dreadlocks that are colored at the tips. This is a common hairstyle for young black males in society today.
Haymer said he respectfully objected to the comments made by the judge. In the facebook video Haymer said, “I explained to the court that as an African American male it’s hard enough that we have to deal with the everyday stereo types, when I’m not wearing my shirt and tie and I go to the store with just my gym shorts and a t-shirt women clutch their purses, I’m followed around the store. As a matter of fact my wife brought me a t-shirt that says worlds greatest dad. She got me Cliff Huxtable type sweaters in the winter instead of hoodies because we know that we are automatically stereo typed, but for a judge to do that on the bench and embarrass my client like that I felt like he took it too far — and I told him and explained to him. You don’t walk in our shoes and see the discrimination we face everyday. We don’t talk about it, it’s nothing to brag about, but we know as being African American males its already harder for us, when we’re driving cars we already know we are more likely to be pulled over than our white counterparts.”
Haymer said he told the judge, “with all due respect your honor my client should be judged by the content of his character and actions and not his skin color and hair.”
Comments on social media support Haymer’s defense of his client, but will this judge be allowed to fill in again in the absence of the sitting judge? Thankfully this young man had a lawyer who was willing to defend him against the bigotry of this judge, who served according to Haymer decades ago.
Haymer let the judge know he has an 8 year old son that wears his hair in an afro and he shouldn’t be labeled as anything negative because of the way his parents choose to let him wear his hair.
Serious question, when will America stop criminalizing everything black?
The actions of this judge aren’t at all shocking for Baton Rouge, considering a 2017 incident with an area judge calling a black woman the “N” word at a Baton Rouge restaurant. That Judge, Mike Erwin is still serving on the Baton Rouge 19th JDC today a year and a half later.