Civil rights lawyer says reprimanded Burleson County decide’s feedback “screams of lynching”

DEANVILLE, Texas (KBTX) – A Burleson County judge was publicly reprimanded by a state commission after he was accused of making racist and bigoted comments.

Burleson County’s District 1 Justice James Baldwin was reprimanded after a Texas soldier and dispatcher from the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office alleged the judge used racist language after an April 2019 hearing with the judge.

The hearing involved a black man named Chester Jackson Jr., who was arrested on public poisoning charges. The soldier and dispatcher said they heard Baldwin say Jackson must be “hung up” and “with a noose around his neck”.

UA Lewis is a civil rights attorney and Jackson’s attorney. She says these comments are crying out for lynching.

“Any time you call up hangings or ropes with African American men to bring them into line, that’s exactly what it is,” Lewis said. “To me, I believe what he is accused of, based on the testimony of credible witnesses, supports a hate crime and terrorist threat.”

Baldwin told the state judiciary commission during his hearing that Jackson “must be hung by his feet so his brain can get out of his ass and back onto his shoulders and between his ears. That way he can make a good decision. “

The commission ordered Baldwin to spend four hours promoting diversity and social justice.

Lewis says the decision was an inadequate slap on the wrist. She says Baldwin needs at least explicit and implicit bias training and intense interventions against racism.

“I think he should have resigned,” said Lewis. “He has no place in justice. He has no place in Burleson County in a position of leadership and authority, especially when people of color come through his courtroom every day seeking justice because he knows that is the mindset and behavior behind it. “

Lewis also says this calls into question her client’s hearing.

“What it shows is that Chester Jackson couldn’t get a fair hearing that day,” said Lewis. “Really, he found out that Chester had a mental health problem and didn’t do anything, and that’s his job.”

Baldwin also received seven hours of instruction in eviction law, due to another incident that same month.

KBTX has asked Baldwin for comment but has not received a response.

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