A judge in Louisville, Ky., has reversed himself after Adam Satterly apologized for calling him a “punk a– ni — er” on Monday.
But for awhile, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens was the toast of everyone who likes watching racists go down when he challenged Satterly, who had just had his bond revoked on drug charges.
“You don’t speak those words in here,” Stevens said at the time. “And that word particularly, you don’t use that word. I’m going to give you 60 days for having used that word. I’m going to hold you in contempt right now for having used it in this courtroom. It’s disrespectful; don’t ever do it again.”
Yesterday, Judge Stevens reduced the sentence to time served.
Stevens has been reprimanded twice by Kentucky judicial officials for speaking out against all-white juries.
“In a lot of ways, it appears what we are experiencing is just how uncomfortable a fully empowered black man on the bench as a judge makes many people,” New York Daily News columnist Shaun King writes. “I can’t quite find the words for my feelings about this, but there is something tragic about the reality that it is even newsworthy to see a black man stand up for himself or speak out against injustice.
“I think our country is either so used to black men suffering abuse in silence or not even being in a position of power to do something about it that when we see Judge Stevens defend himself, it’s strangely new to us.”