A black judge in Alabama has refused a defense request to step aside, for a white Alabama police officer charged with the murder in the shooting of a black man.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin ruled after a contentious hearing with the defense because of a Facebook post the judge made before he was assigned the case. Judge Griffin complained in a Facebook post about being stopped by police while black.
Attorney Roainne Conner, the defense attorney for police officer Aaron Cody Smith, argued she wasn’t claiming the judge was biased, only that judicial ethics require judges avoid even “appearances of impropriety.” 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.
Officer Smith is charged with murder in the shooting death of Greg Gunn on February 25, 2016.