Victims of an armed robbery in their home were blasted by a racist judge in Kentucky for what he called racism on their part. You heard that right. Judge Olu Stevens, a black judge, berated a couple who were victims of two armed, black thugs that broke into their home. However, that wasn’t even the worst of it. Judge Stevens let one of the robbers go free.
On March 21, 2013 Jordan and Tommy Gray, along with their three-year-old daughter were watching television when two-armed black men broke into their home, held them at gunpoint and robbed them.
One of the men, Marquis McAfee, 27, in the robbery already had a 10-year prison sentence for a prior crime. However, Gregory Wallace, 27, pleaded guilty to the robbery.
Once the case finally made it to sentencing two years later, Jordan wrote in an impact statement that his daughter was still “in constant fear of black men.”
"Whenever we are running errands, if we come across a black male, she holds me tight and begs me to leave," the mother wrote. "It has affected her friendships at school and our relationships with African-American friends."
Tommy also wrote that probation for Wallace was not enough.
"If holding a little girl at gunpoint gets you probation, then our system is flawed," Gray wrote.
However, on February 4, 2015, when sentencing began, it wasn’t Wallace that was grilled by Judge Stevens. It was the Grays.
"I am offended. … I am deeply offended that they would be victimized by an individual and express some kind of fear of all black men," he said.
"This little girl certainly has been victimized, and she can't help the way she feels," he said. "My exception is more with her parents and their accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes."
Understand that the Grays were not at the sentencing, but they did read about his condemnation of them in a post on Facebook.
"Do three-year-olds form such generalized, stereotyped and racist opinions of others?" he wrote. "I think not. Perhaps the mother had attributed her own views to her child as a manner of sanitizing them."
The Courier-Journal reports:
Stevens, who was appointed to the bench in 2009 and re-elected last year without opposition, did not mention the Grays or Wallace by name on Facebook. He noted in court and in his post that "the statement played absolutely no role in the sentencing decision."
And in an interview, he said he did nothing improper in court or on social media. "I was cautioning the parents against allowing racial stereotypes to impact their behavior and that of their child," he said.
But leading experts on judicial ethics condemned his remarks, as did Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine and friends and family of the Grays, some of whom have started a Facebook page urging Stevens' removal from office.
"Judge Stevens blamed and shamed the victims," said the girl's paternal grandmother, Dawn Renee Bryant, who said her daughter-in-law cried when she read the judge's post. "It is very disturbing to be called something you are not."
Wine said his office would disavow any racist victim impact statement but the statements made by the victims in this case "were not intended to be and were not."
"The mother of a 3-year-old was describing how the home invaders, armed with guns, affected her family," Wine said. "She differentiated how the adults and the child were affected."
Ronald Rotunda, a law professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. and the author of a widely used course book on legal ethics, says that Stevens violated the Code of Judicial Conduct not only by his behavior in court, but also by his comments on Facebook (which have since been removed).
"The judge, acting like a pop psychologist, decides to attack the little girl and her parents," Rotunda said. "Then, after the judge … has a chance to cool down … he goes on Facebook and does it all over again. The judge should be a little more judicious."
Frankly, I think that is going a little easy on Judge Stevens. I think the people he serves should move to impeach him because it is clear that he cannot be impartial, but has demonstrated his own sick racism in both the comments from the bench and on social media.
Clearly, this judge does not have good judgment. Even that Richard Elder, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, objected to the judge’s decision to give probation to Wallace. He said the guy was “guilty as hell” and “put a gun in that little girl’s father’s face.” Wallace had already pled guilty to a 20-year sentence.
While Judge Stevens claims to be “offended” at the statement by the parents, I’m sure the entire community is offended at his ridiculous statements and his softness on a violent crime like Wallace was engaged in. I have no doubt that we will more than likely hear about Mr. Wallace in a future crime, only the next time, the victims may not be so fortunate as to escape with their lives. And it will all be due to Judge Stevens’ setting a convicted violent criminal free because, in his estimation, he was a good boy while in jail for 17 months.
I’m not alone in my assessment of Judge Stevens either. Just look at the outrage expressed on Twitter at Stevens’ behavior.
@judgeolustevens Please apologize. Toddler bitten by white dog would fear white dogs. Unkind to blame parents for “fostering” prejudice.
— ⚡️TheAstonishingFMan (@AstonishingFMan) April 13, 2015
@judgeolustevens Your decision was clearly racial and shows why you need to be removed.
— Lisa H. (@mymac24) April 13, 2015
@judgeolustevens you’re pathetic. If roles were reversed how would it have played out? You’re a racist dirtbag
— Freedom.TCW86 (@timothyw8662) April 13, 2015
@judgeolustevens This man needs to be fired. He is not able keep his personal opinions separate from his responsibilities as a judge.
— Richard Regan (@regan_richard) April 13, 2015
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@judgeolustevens your personal feelings don’t matter .If you are offended tough shit . That makes you a BAD JUDGE !
— joe (@stang289) April 12, 2015