You know when a judge is shocked by the actions of law enforcement, it must be bad. But then, not much could be more shocking than someone coming before a judge without pants on?
A female inmate came to court (sans pants) for a previous, 2014 charge for shoplifting. While discussing the charges, Jefferson District Court Judge Amber Wolf was visibly annoyed with the county for trying to impose a 75 day sentence for a first time shoplifting offense. It was absurd to her that they were looking for such a harsh punishment for a first timer. Clearly to this point, she hadn’t even noticed that the inmate wasn’t wearing any pants.
When the inmate’s attorney pointed this out, disbelief overcame the judge. Upon further questioning, the judge learned that the inmate had been denied pants and feminine hygiene products for the 2-3 days that she had been incarcerated.
“Excuse me? This is outrageous. Is this for real?” Judge Wolf inquired. She then picked up her phone and started dialing while saying “This can’t wait.” and “I’m sorry. This is going to take a little bit”. While on hold, she asks “Am I in the Twilight Zone? What is happening?”
She called the jail directly and demanded to see someone who could explain to her why an inmate in her court was denied pants and feminine hygiene products. Personnel arrived in short order, and had no good explanation for the actions….because there were none. The inmate was taken out of the court room and returned wearing jail garb.
Judge Wolf blasted the county for looking for a 75 day sentence, and apologized multiple times for the treatment she had received. Ultimately, she fined her $100 with time served.
So, this is what law “enforcement” has come to? Exacting their power on a powerless inmate by choosing who actually gets to have pants to wear?
This isn’t just about some rogue jailer in Louisville. This about something we see more and more as cameras expose them. It’s about losing what law enforcement is really supposed to be about, and replacing it with power trips. That thin blue line has become the symbol of divisiveness…a symbol of power. At some point in time, the police became more about that power than about what is right. Changing a behavior was replaced with “Do as I say, or suffer the consequences of not bowing before me”. Their authority became THE important thing, as opposed to “protect and serve”.
When the police are willing to flaunt that power to the point of sending someone before a judge with no pants, I think that shark has been more than sufficiently jumped.