Posted April 3, 2008 – The Black Atlanta judge who asked all the White folks in his courtroom to kindly step out, so he could give the brothers a personal lecture on responsibility, apologized Tuesday, saying he lost his head after being frustrated with trifling African-American defendants shuffling through his courtroom.
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"In retrospect, it was a mistake," Fulton County Judge Marvin Arrington told CNN. "Because my sheriff said to me, 'Judge, that message should be given to everybody' – 'Don't violate the law, make something out of yourself, go to school, find a role model, somebody that will help you advance your life.'"
He said that he was concerned at the time about airing the Black community’s dirty laundry in front of White lawyers.
"I came out and saw the defendants, and it was about 99.9 percent Afro-Americans," Arrington said, "and at some point in time, I excused some lawyers – most of them White – and said to the young people in here, 'What in the world are you doing with your lives?'"
Arrington said he thought the Black-father-to-son approach would be more effective.
"I didn't want them to think I was talking down to them; trying to embarrass them or insult them; be derogatory toward them, and I was just saying, 'Please get yourself together,'" Arrington said.
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