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Judge Accused of Racial Abuse Indicted
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A Mississippi judge was accused of assaulting and yelling a racial slur at a 20 -year-old black man.

Summary: A Madison County, Mississippi judge accused of assaulting and yelling a racial slur at a man at a flea market has been indicted.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, just nine months after a Mississippi judge was accused of both hitting and shouting a racial slur at a young man who was mentally challenged, a grand jury decided to indict him for simple assault on a vulnerable adult.

  
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Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white, turned himself in at the offices of the Madison County sheriff on Thursday, and was later released on a $10,000 bond.

Witnesses recalled that while at the Canton Flea Market on May 8, 2014, Weisenberger struck Eric Rivers, a 20-year-old black man, and yelled, “Run, n*****, run.” According to the Jackson Free Press, the judge allegedly slapped, kicked, and knocked the man down. Weisenberger was working at the flea market as a volunteer, and Rivers was asking vendors if he could help them with loading and unloading their goods for tips.

A Broward County was arrested for DUI in the courthouse parking lot.

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If the judge is convicted, he may face a fine of up to $1,000, up to 5 years’ imprisonment, or a combination of the two. Simple assault against a vulnerable adult is a felony charge.

Bill Kirksey, Weisenberger’s lawyer, said, “From the beginning of this matter, Judge Weisenberger has cooperated with each law enforcement and investigatory agency that wanted to know what actually occurred at the Canton Flea Market last spring. Judge Weisenberger has denied and continues to deny any wrong doing or the commission of any crime against any person.”



In March, TV host Judge Joe Brown was arrested for contempt of court.

Kirksey and other Madison County officials have complained about delays in the process. Kirksey commented that the Attorney General’s office allowed four grand juries to be selected and serve their terms before presenting Weisenberger’s case.

Should Judge Weisenberger remain off of the bench for good?

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Karl Banks, the Madison County Supervisor, said in January that the delays were costing taxpayers money since Weisenberger still receives his $45,700 per year salary. Weisenberger did step down from the bench after he was charged. Judges are only forced to resign if convicted of a felony or if removed by the Supreme Court.

After presiding over trials from the bench, Weisenberger will be subjected to his own trial on June 8.

Last year, a law clerk for a federal judge was arrested for the solicitation of a child.

Attorney General Jim Hood, whose office will be prosecuting the case, said, “The law does not discriminate, and the Grand Jury has given us our marching orders. We look forward to presenting the facts of this case in court.”

William Truly of the NAACP said, “No citizen should have to face justice before a judge who holds such a high degree of racial animus and hatred,” MSNBC reported.

Weisenberger has faced other allegations in the past year. For example, it was alleged that he imposed an illegal DUI sentence against a black defendant in his courtroom. District Attorney Michael Guest said the matter was turned over to the attorney general’s office.

In November, a lawsuit was filed against both Weisenberger and the county. Weisenberger was accused of arresting and jailing a black woman on the made up charge of “roaming livestock.”

Source: Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Free Press

Photo credit: wapt.com



 

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