Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Racism and the Judicial System

Apparently. . .racism is not as covert in the judicial system as it is in the rest of the world. There is a kid in my class who told a story about how he and his friend were treated with prejudice and continue to still be treated so by the Denver County Courts. As a bailiff for my courts it kind of touched home with me because it makes me realize that there are some racist people at my job but thankfully they aren't so open and displaying with it. Anyways, a kid in my class, we'll name his Shawn for the purpose of the story, and his friend, we'll name Chris, were working out together at a 24 hour fitness. Chris is a UFC Colorado Championship right now that fights for the Denver Police Department. His teacher is the Deputy Sheriff and he has a lot of friends and is well known within the department. He trains Shawn. While they were working out, someone got pulled over and got a speeding ticket. This someone showed a PAPER COPY of an ID that belonged to Chris. No fingerprints were taking by the officer in case of an identity mishap and apparently the paper copy id was accepted. . .which it shouldn't have been. So this individual got a speeding ticket. Chris went to the courts to take care of another speeding ticket only to discover that he had another with a warrant out. As he was taking care of this one he decided to fight it. He requested an identity hearing in order to show that he was not the individual driving that day. Shawn went with Chris to the hearing as a character witness and also in order to say that they were together at the work out center at the time of the ticket. Chris checked in as himself. Shawn checked in as a witness to Chris' case. As they're names were called up to the podium Shawn tried to make sure the judge understood that the judge knew he was just a witness. He was ordered to shut up and calm down and just stand at the podium. Anytime the two tried to explain what was going on they were told to be quiet. The officer testified an instead of identifying Chris as the driver, who was the person who was in the paper copy id photo that was provided at the time of the ticket, the officer identified Shawn as the driver who looks nothing like Chris. This suggests that the officer assumed that all black people look a like. When Shawn tried to explain once again he was told to shut up. In the end, this case was dismissed but the ordeal was not over. The judge placed the two in contempt of court for "impersonation". They are accusing Shawn of checking in as Chris and the other way around. They are being pressed with felony charges and are facing prison time. The city attorney who is suppose to be helping them is NOT HELPING AT ALL however just telling them everything they could be charged with. The prosecutor is telling them that he is going to give it to the District Attorney to see what else they can charge them with. The officer calls them over and starts cussing them out. Yelling at them to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down and that they were being ass holes trying to cheat the system. During this time they had said and done nothing to receive this kind of treatment. The officer wrote them their new ticket and they were taking to jail for being in contempt. They are planning on hiring an attorney and I honestly think the charges will probably be dismissed. I just am floored that the Denver Police would treat someone so poorly, even when they fight for charity to raise money for them. It's quite disappointing and I hope I don't experience any such prejudicial treatment in my courts. ]=

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