Video Shows Former Ohio Judge Get Dragged Out of Courtroom in Chaotic Scene

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
July 23, 2019US News
Video Shows Former Ohio Judge Get Dragged Out of Courtroom in Chaotic Scene
Former judge Tracie Hunter was dragged out of an Ohio courtroom after being sentenced. (WLWT via CNN)

Video has emerged showing a former judge being dragged out of a courtroom after a guilty verdict was rendered.

Tracie Hunter was a judge in juvenile court. She was convicted in 2014 of improperly helping her brother, who was embroiled in a job dispute, NBC News reported. Many years had elapsed between the conviction date and the July 22 court date.

Hunter had exhausted several appeals in the passing years and finally had to face sentencing.

Tracie’s brother Stephen worked as a youth corrections officer. He was accused of hitting a youth while on duty. His boss recommended he be fired.

Tracie became involved with the matter after she demanded, and then received, documents regarding the young person that Stephen hit. She allegedly gave those documents to her brother. Hunter was convicted of “having an unlawful interest in a public contract,” carrying charges of a fourth-degree felony, according to WLWT.

“I violated no laws, I did not secure a public contract, I did not secure employment for my brother who worked for the court for about seven years before I was elected judge. They need to drop these unrighteous, and I believe unlawful, charges against me,” Hunter told WLWT.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker told the court of the numerous postcards he received hoping he would rule favorably on Hunter. Dinkelacker was adamant that he would not be swayed, NBC News reported.

Court Chaos Ensues

When Dinkelacker ordered that Hunter be taken into custody to begin her sentence, a supporter of Hunter got up in protest and tried to run through court officers to reach Hunter. She was arrested and cited for contempt of court and sentenced to a day in jail.

Hunter stands and then falls limp once a deputy takes hold of her. She is dragged out of the courtroom. Other Hunter supporters yell out in dissatisfaction with the sentence, WLWT video shows.

The judge that handed Hunter the initial six-month sentence in 2014 had already been retired. He feels Dinkelacker made the right choice.

“The system was not intimidated. The system worked. It took a long time, but the system worked,” said retired judge Norbert Nadel, via WLWT.

Protests Continue

Hunter supporters continued their protest that evening, outside Dinkelacker’s home, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

“In court today, Judge Dinkelacker, many of the comments he made, made it seem very personal. He showed he was being vindictive when he decided to lock her up,” said Joe Mallory, first vice president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “So, since he wanted to make it personal when he read all these postcards… he mentioned all the things that offended him… him receiving postcards at home… we decided to just go to his home so he could really see how we really feel about this unjust decision.”

“I wish for the neighbors’ sake, they weren’t here,” Dinkelacker told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I have very old neighbors next to me. I’m sure they’re scared.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he would review a request for clemency, meaning the conviction would stand but Hunter would be released.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the protest was “out of line.” He suggested that Hunter’s supporters address their concern via the courts instead of outside the judge’s home. He said showing up at a judge’s home is unprecedented in the county, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

“Good-hearted people don’t do this,” Deters said.

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