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Fulton County Judge gives speech again. News Team

Black Judge implores black defendants to get honest jobs and cease thuggery

From Atlanta-Journal Constitution…

Arrington, 67, stepped into controversy last week when he asked whites to leave so he could lecture defendants about turning their lives around. The judge soberly noted that the whites were mostly lawyers and staff. He said almost all of his defendants in Fulton County are black.He thought he would be more effective if he did it before a black-only audience which he said was unfortunate because it caused people to focus on his method rather than his message. Civil society, he said, depends on heeding the message.

The judge apologized if he offended any whites but said he was just trying to do some good. He ticked off a list of crimes to help illustrate why he was delivering a message to African-American youth.

— Arrington said a white man and a white woman were buying crack cocaine near Christian City in South Fulton County when they got into a dispute with the black vendor over the price. The dealer wanted $20 for the rock, the male buyer wanted to pay $15.

“He (the dealer) said, and I quote, ‘I get tired of you crackers,’ and he shot the fella in the head. The girlfriend said, ‘Why would you do that?’ And he said, ‘We don’t need no witnesses,’ and shot her in the head,” Arrington recalled. A security guard investigated and the gunman killed him. Three deaths, the judge said, in 20 minutes.

— He told of a young man who got involved in a deal to buy a couple a load of marijuana but got robbed instead by the drug trafficker. The young man went back to the people who put up the money for the drugs, and when he couldn’t come up with the money to repay them that day, they killed him.

— Arrington said a man in his neighborhood was killed by someone who wanted his watch. People are routinely robbed at gunpoint at a service station near his southwest Atlanta home, he said.

— His own brother was robbed while unlocking the door to his home. A gunman put a pistol in his brother’s mouth while his brother’s wife watched. “My sister-in-law was a nervous wreck,” he said. These are the type of crimes you don’t read about.”

African-Americans in positions of authority have an obligation to speak out to young people who are on the path to becoming street thugs before they turn into killers, Arrington said. He said people he puts on probation too often end up back in court on a new charge.