Accused of Calling a Black Juror ‘Aunt Jemima,’ Pennsylvania Judge Barred From Cases

A Pittsburgh position elevate accused of establishing racist comments a few juror has been barred from hearing cases, in step with a court present issued this week.

Allegheny County Total Pleas Rob Discover Tranquilli is accused of all yet again and all yet again relating to a murky juror as “Aunt Jemima.” Tranquilli made the racially-charged references all the blueprint via a conversation in his chambers after the conclusion of a case on Jan. 24, in step with a complaint made by protection felony legitimate Joe Otte to Pennsylvania’s Judicial Conduct Board, a duplicate of which became as soon as got by TIME. Otte, who became as soon as with Tranquilli when he allegedly made the comments, declined to comment on the incident.

Otte wrote within the complaint that Tranquilli became as soon as “visibly upset” in regards to the consequence of the case, whereby a suspect being tried on a count of possession with intent to ship became as soon as acquitted. In his chambers, the elevate allegedly berated the case’s prosecutor, Ted Dutkowski, in relation to how doable jury people had been screened and made a entire lot of racist comments about one juror in suppose.

“The elevate then talked about that Ted had made a dreadful resolution by allowing ‘Aunt Jemima’ on the jury,” Otte wrote within the complaint. “The juror, Juror #4, became as soon as a younger murky lady who had feeble a hair wrap all the blueprint via the trial. The elevate expressed that he knew Ted became as soon as not going to salvage a conviction from the 2d Juror #4 became as soon as questioned.”

Local recordsdata residing KDKA studies that Dutkowski also wrote up Tranquilli’s comments in a memo, pronouncing that he became as soon as “sickened” by them. Dutkowski could well not be directly reached for comment Friday, and the Allegheny County District Lawyer’s Residence of business declined to comment.

Otte’s complaint additional particulars that Tranquilli talked about the juror’s “toddler daddy” potentially equipped pills too, and that the not responsible verdict given to the suspect got here in share on myth of her “presumed bias in make a selection of heroin dealers.”

Tranquilli did not directly acknowledge Friday to TIME’s assign a question to for comment.

Tranquilli, who became as soon as temporarily reassigned to abstract appeals on Tuesday, is now barred from hearing any cases, a court present issued by President Rob Kim Berkeley Clark says, in step with the Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette. As an alternative, he’s temporarily assigned to “administrative responsibilities most effective.”

“Rob Tranquilli shall not preside over any cases all the blueprint via this assignment,” Berkeley Clark wrote within the present.

The Allegheny County Bar Association president Lori McMaster known as for a “total investigation” by the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania into Tranquilli’s alleged comments in a order.

“In closing steadfast to the Allegheny County Bar Association’s mission and values, now we dangle an obligation to our people, our customers, and the African American and broader communities at gargantuan, to continue to hold motion to cast off implicit and suppose racial bias in our ethical system,” McMaster talked about.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at [email protected].