Thanks to this video recording from August 2013, the public gets another glimpse into the power trips that some people go on when they get elevated to the bench.
Back in August last year, a woman named Ebony Burks was arrested and brought before a judge (Judge Gary Bennett) for arraignment. He asked her how she wanted to plead (not guilty) and then set bonds. As a condition of bond, he directed her to stay away from her partner, who was the victim of a domestic charge. When she realized that that meant she couldn’t go to her own home, shit hit the fan:
“How you going to tell me I can’t go to my home?” Burks asked.
“I just did,” Bennett replied.
“Well, I bet I do,” Burks said.
That brought the initial 30 day sentence.
Burks got 60 days when she held up her hand and walked away from the camera. Bennett ordered her back. Burks continued to talk back.
Here are her words and the resulting jail sentences:
“So what?” (90 days)
“So?” (120 days)
“Okay, and?” (160, 180 days)
“What else you got to say?” (Bennett replies that he will have nothing more to say until they meet again in six months.)
Burks makes an off camera remark, gets a 200 day sentence, and then Bennett asks Burks if she has anything more to say.
“F— you,” Burks replies, bringing the 300 day sentence.
Glad to see today’s definition of judicial temperament includes the ability to get into a childish pissing match with an indigent defendant who’s been told she can’t return to her house.