Judge smacks mentally ill man, tells him ‘run n-word run’
A Mississippi Justice Court judge is accused of striking a mentally ill man and calling him the n-word.
Witnesses say the attack was unprovoked.
The family has filed a complaint with police against Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white, alleging he struck their 20-year-old African-American son, Eric Rivers, on May 8 at the Canton Flea Market.
“This is 2014,” said former Canton Mayor William Truly, president of the Canton branch of the NAACP, “not 1960, where someone could slap a young man and call out, ‘Run, n—–, run.”
Darlene Ballard, executive director of the state Judicial Commission, said if the allegations are true, they would “violate multiple canons” of the Judicial Code of Conduct.
Truly called on Weisenberger, a former law enforcement officer and former emergency operations director in Madison County, to step down from hearing cases until the matter is resolved — or simply to resign.[…]
Cathy Hendrix of Tuscaloosa, a vendor at the Canton Flea Market, told The Clarion-Ledger that she and other vendors rely on local people to help load and unload their vehicles, paying for the help.
On May 8, she saw Rivers standing on the sidewalk, asking if they needed help, she said. “That young man was wanting to work to earn money to buy a bike.”
Her sister, Tammy Westbrook, also of Tuscaloosa, told The Clarion-Ledger she saw Weisenberger “rear back and slap” Rivers twice.
The young man bolted away, and she said she heard Weisenberger yell out, “Run, boy, run,” and “run, n—–, run.”
The NAACP plans to file formal complaints with the Judicial Performance Commission, the state attorney general’s Vulnerable Adult Unit and the Justice Department.
Weisenberger did not return telephone calls asking for a response to the allegations.
We have to continue to demand justice in situations like this.
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