Friday, September 28, 2018

WBEZ: White Cook County Judge Tells Black Defendant: 'You Were Never A Slave'

They say we have to watch these judges, unfortunately folks in one community can't influence the selection of judges in another community. Or could we?

I found this interesting from WBEZ and this case took place in the northwestern suburbs:
The racially charged comment came from Judge Richard D. Schwind as he sentenced 31-year-old Deon Lindsey in a misdemeanor battery case.

Lindsey admitted hitting his ex-girlfriend’s white brother at her apartment in Hoffman Estates in May. But Lindsey told police he was provoked by being called the N-word, records show.

Speaking from the bench on July 18, the judge said the slur was an “ignorant term” for the recipient of the punch to have used with Lindsey.

But the transcript shows Schwind then told Lindsey, “You take offense to a word that — you, you were never a slave, but you take offense to it. And I understand that. But the bigger man walks away. You don’t resort to violence. That’s why society is the way it is now.”
After hearing cases Wednesday in Courtroom 101 in the Rolling Meadows branch, Schwind declined to comment.

But on Thursday, the spokesman for Chief Judge Timothy Evans told WBEZ that the court system’s executive committee will review the matter at its Oct. 3 meeting.

The spokesman, Pat Milhizer, added that judges must abide by an Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct rule stating, “A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice.”
Schwind, 66, became an associate judge in April 2012 and has been assigned to the 3rd Municipal District courthouse in Rolling Meadows since 2013. Associated judges are chosen by a vote of circuit court judges elected by voters.

He is currently serving a four-year term that expires on June 30, 2019.

A graduate of John Marshall Law School, Schwind worked for seven years for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office and then more than 27 years for the Illinois Attorney General’s office, rising to chief of the criminal enforcement division.
At the sentencing hearing, Schwind said, “Mr. Lindsey, it’s my understanding … the victim in this case used a term that is insulting to you. And I understand that.”

Lindsey told the judge that the slur was used “in front of my daughter.”

“That doesn’t give you a right to hit him,” Schwind replied.
The bigger man walks away, however, the N-word is offensive whether or not we're slaves. And I'm with Dartesia Pitts - who was formerly President of the Cook County Bar Association - stating: “It was totally unnecessary for the judge to make this commentary on the record at all relating to slavery”. Yes, it was unnecessary!


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