Judge frees protesters who toppled Confederate statue, but when he criticizes black prosecutor …oh, the irony!

A North Carolina judge who released three protesters accused of bringing down a Confederate statue last summer is getting his taste of the hypersensitivity in post-Obama America that led to the statues being toppled in the first place.

Durham County District Judge Fred Battaglia referred to Assistant District Attorney Ameshia Cooper, the African-American prosecutor in the case as “third string” in a meeting with local Republicans, according to Fox News.

Battaglia reportedly used the phrase in reference to an ACC Tournament basketball game being played that night between Duke and North Carolina.

“If the third string goes in tonight at 9 p.m., what do you think is going to happen?” he asked, according to The Herald-Sun.

“I was raised old school,” Battaglia later added. “If you try a case, you try it hard. But if you run your third string, you know what is going to happen.”

Video screen shot.

The judge was quickly criticized by Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols, who is also black, who called the judge’s comments as “inappropriate, unnecessary, and inaccurate.”

And brought race into the matter.

Photo credit: Fox News.

“At a time when women, especially women of color, are still marginalized, it is unfortunate that a member of the judiciary would refer to any woman with such little regard,” Echols said in a statement to the Herald-Sun.

Screengrab Judge Battaglia

Battaglia dismissed criminal misdemeanor charges in February against two people accused of pulling down the Confederate statue, saying investigators failed to prove that video of the statue being toppled showed the two defendants, according to Fox News — a third defendant was later found not guilty.

To the surprise of few, Echols then declined to bring charges against five remaining defendants, citing a lack of evidence.

Tom Tillison


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