A former Ohio judge had to be dragged out of court by a bailiff this past week after she refused to be arrested following a controversial sentencing.
Footage of the incident shows former judge Tracie Hunter going limp after a judge upheld her six-month sentence for improperly passing on information to her brother in a job dispute. The courtroom in Cincinnati can be seen descending into chaos as her supporters protested the sentence overall and the indignity in how she was taken out of the courtroom.
Hunter, the first elected African American juvenile court judge in Hamilton County, was accused of using her influence to help her youth corrections officer brother, Stephen, after he allegedly struck a young offender on the job on July 7, 2013. The incident led to the officer’s boss recommending his termination.
Hunter is said to have improperly demanded and received documents about the teen and passed them on to her brother, prosecutors said. She was convicted in October 2014 of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, but remained free while she pursued appeals in both state and federal court.
“I violated no laws, I did not secure a public contract, I did not secure employment for my brother who worked for the court for about seven years before I was elected judge. They need to drop these unrighteous and I believe unlawful charges against me,” Hunter told NBC affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati on Sunday.
But the appellate judge disagreed when he sentenced her on Monday. Many are calling his decision racist,
Since then, she has filed a formal inmate grievance, alleging that being dragged from the courtroom “aggravated a serious pre-existing medical condition to my neck, back, and legs. It was a use of force that also caused degradation and dehumanization and was broadcast across the world.”
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department said it is investigating her allegations.