A Texas judge got a slap on a wrist for an insensitive-at-best social media post saying a “tree and a rope” were needed for a Black man accused of fatally shooting a San Antonio police detective last year.
James Oakley, of Burnet County in Central Texas was given the reprimand by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, reports the Daily Mail.
He must complete four whole hours of racial sensitivity training with a mentor.
Oakley has said his comment was intended to reflect his personal feelings that the killing “should qualify for the death penalty,” and had nothing to do with race.
“Maybe I watched too many Westerns when I was little,” said Oakley.
The suspect in last year’s shooting, Otis Tyrone McKane, is black. He is accused of killing Benjamin Marconi, who was fatally shot as he sat in his patrol car writing a traffic ticket on November 21, 2016.
He adds, “What I should have posted, if anything, is a comment that more clearly reflects my opinion on the cowardly crime of the senseless murder of a law enforcement officer. My view of the ‘suspect,’ whom has admitted to the murder, is the same regardless of ethnicity or gender,” he added.
The scary part is that this judge with questionable racial biases has the power to affect Black defendants’ lives in his courtroom. Hopefully that half day of sensitivity training will work.