Murder trial involving police officer paused after judge complains on Facebook he was recently stopped by police for being black
On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court temporarily paused a murder trial involving a white police officer killing a black man.
The trial was paused because the judge in the case had posted on Facebook to complain about being racially profiled by police.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin made the post before he was assigned to the case, writing that he had been stopped by police because he matched the description of someone in the area with a crowbar.
Griffin wrote at the time, “It was aggravating to be detained when the only thing I was guilty of was being a black man walking down the street in his neighborhood with a stick in his hand.”
Defense attorney Roianne Conner has since argued for Griffin’s removal, though she noted that she was not saying that Griffin was biased, rather that judges were supposed to avoid even “appearances of impropriety.”
The case before Griffin involves Montgomery Police Officer Aaron Smith, who shot 58-year-old Greg Gunn while Gunn was walking home from a weekly card game. Smith has claimed that he stopped Gunn for acting suspiciously and further claimed that Gunn fought with him and swung something at him.