Black judge refuses to step down from white officer's trial
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Lawyers for a white Alabama police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a black man are wrongly injecting race into the case, a black judge said Thursday when he refused a
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin ruled after a contentious hearing in which the
In the post, the judge complained about being stopped by police because he was he was black. Griffin said he lives "in the hood" and "can't take this black skin off."
"It comes with the territory," said Griffin.
Griffin didn't buy the arguments.
"It troubles me because y'all put race in it," he said.
Smith, 24, is charged with murder in the shooting death of Greg Gunn, 58, on Feb. 25, 2016. The confrontation began when the officer stopped Gunn, who was walking through his
Friends said Gunn was walking home from a weekly card game and was shot next-door to the house he shared with his mother. The
In a Facebook post two weeks after Gunn's death but before he was assigned the case, the judge wrote that he had been stopped by officers who claimed he matched the description of a man seen in the area with a crowbar.
The post, which did not mention Gunn's death, said in part: "It was aggravating to be detained when the only thing I was guilty of was being a black man walking down the street in his
Conner said many of the 239 people who commented on Griffin's post compared what happened to him to Gunn's killing, but Griffin rejected the argument.
"This is not a stop-and-search case. This is a murder case," said Griffin, noting that the officer who first stopped him was black.
The hearing wasn't the first time the
The city, which is about 57
Prosecutors are opposing the