Judge Kevin Ross breaks down Breonna Taylor settlement, renewal of ‘America’s Court with Judge Kevin Ross’
The judge is opening up about his partnership with Entertainment Studios and why he thinks officers often resort to aggression during interactions with the Black community
This past week, it was announced that America’s Court with Judge Ross was renewed for seven more seasons with Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group picking up the first and longest-running court series until fall of 2027. theGrio sat down with Judge Kevin Ross to discuss the huge deal, his career, as well as breaking down the Breonna Taylor case and recent settlement.
“I read somewhere that it’s the largest settlement for an African-American,” Ross stated when asked his thoughts on the recent settlement received by Taylor’s family from the city of Louisville.
He went on to break down what he believes is the motive for the aggressive force of officers and it all stems from money.
“When I look at these three officers that have not been charged yet. What I find fascinating is one of them who was fired, he was making about $60,000 a year as a police officer in Louisville, Kentucky. Sixty-thousand dollars isn’t a lot of money,” he explained. “Well, why do I mention that from the standpoint of this case? Well, because he made an additional just under $50,000 in overtime. So he’s almost doubling his salary by doing overtime.”
The America’s court judge then probed this question: “How do officers make money?”
“They make money by being aggressive,” he continued, answering his proposed question. “They make money by taking on those extra assignments and getting to those special units that compensate them for the behavior that is ingrained in the problem that we know as police misconduct.”
Ross went on to elaborate that the officers are rewarded for being aggressive and have to chose between making more money or sticking with their regular salary and not being a part of those special units.
Although Judge Ross is not a fan of the idea of defunding the police he is passionate about finding ways to mentor the Black community
“I think we have to do more with young males even as it relates to not just waiting until high school, but I think we need more mentoring programs and we need to put resources and allocate actual hard cash. I’m a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. One of the things we do a lot of is outreach programs that work with young males. What we have found is when Black grown men spend time with young Black males, it has it affects them.”
Ross did not imagine he would have his own show. As a former prosecutor for eight years and Superior Court judge in Los Angeles for seven years, his background wasn’t in entertainment. Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen predicted from the beginning, however, that this would be a long relationship.
“Once I received the go-ahead that it’s happening in 2010. Byron Allen says to me, ‘Judge, we’re going to have a 20-year relationship together.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, how about we just do one year and let’s see where that goes,'” he said. “So we are now 10 years in.”
One thing that Ross says is key is remaining true to who he is, making sure he stays fair but also taking viewers through the process with hopes that they will form connections with the cases.
“As a Black man, I would be seen as uppity or I’d be seen as arrogant or I’d be seen in a way that wouldn’t endear me to the audience. So I really had to learn how to be more in tune, like I would say, ‘Well, how do you feel about that or where were you emotionally when this took place? ‘So that was a whole new skill. As I’m moving forward, I just want to do more of that.”
Season 11 of America’s Court with Judge Ross has officially premiered and you can catch episodes on Allen’s 24/7 HD television network, JusticeCentral.TV, which is available on Comcast, DirecTV, ATT U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, DISH, and other major cable carriers nationwide and globally.
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