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Broward Judge Caught On Hot Mic Making Racial Statement
Broward County Circuit Court judge Dennis D. Bailey, was caught on a “Hot Mic” making a racial statement about a black defendant that appeared before him , presiding over Broward’s First Appearance-Bond Court, Saturday June 02.
The defendant, an African American, Steven Cloud, who’s has since bonded out, lists his permanent address as 4344 Oak Forrester Dr. Charlotte North Carolina. He was pulled over in Hollywood Florida for a minor traffic violation. Police also found a handgun, and ammunition.
Later at the end of the day’s bond court, the judge made what seems to be a racial comment about the defendant.The judge is heard referring to the defendant saying; “What, he’s in custody, he can’t go home?”
“He wants to get home and get some of mamma’s fried chicken, and um, some sweet potato pie.”
We once again posted the video on the courthouse gossip blog, JAABLAW BLOG, for public defender Howard Finkelstein to see.
This time though, the situation for him is a little different.
Judge Bailey sits on the criminal bench full time, so unlike judge Ehrlich, and judge Lazarus, who both presided over civil courts on their regular duties, a letter to the chief judge demanding he not preside over bond court or criminal court probably will not be enough.
The Florida Code of Judicial Conduct, aka the Judicial Canons, Canon 3 B (5) states;
(5) A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice. A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, including but not limited to bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, and shall not permit staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control to do so. This section does not preclude the consideration of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other similar factors when they are issues in the proceeding.
The comment by it’s self, may not seem to bad to some, but when looking at the judges sentencing history, the picture becomes a little clearer.
The chart above comes from the Sarasota Tribune’s Bias on the Bench project. The project has gather data on all Florida judges in all Florida circuits, of their sentencing histories, going back for thirteen years.
The website allows you to enter the circuit number on the left, then the judges name on the right, then gives you a chart showing the judges sentencing history for the past thirteen years, or less if the judge has not been on the bench that long.
In judge Bailey’s chart, we can clearly see he sentences Black defendants more harshly than White defendants for most of the serious crimes.
What really makes that chart look bad for the judge is that he has managed to have results like that in a matter of just three years.