Support pours in for Jefferson Circuit Court judge who prosecuto - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Support pours in for Jefferson Circuit Court judge who prosecutors want off all criminal cases

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More support is pouring in for the Jefferson Circuit Court judge prosecutors want off all criminal cases.

Judge Olu Stevens canceled all of his cases Thursday morning, but we're told he met with several supporters in chambers.

On Tuesday, prosecutors started asking Stevens to recuse himself from their cases. He has refused, so now they're asking Kentucky's Chief Justice to remove him from all criminal cases.

The request is in reaction to the judge's comments on social media about Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine. Stevens has written that Wine wants to seat all-white juries and "will live in infamy" for it.

Last year, Stevens dismissed an entirely white jury selected for a black defendant and brought in a new jury panel.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office asked the Supreme Court to determine if Stevens had the power to do so.

Louisville attorney Dawn Elliott was among those in court this Thursday morning. She says she supports Judge Stevens and his message.

"People in this town -- in this state even -- are blind to the fact that discrimination still goes on today, November 19, 2015, and it's not going anywhere," said Elliott. "They may have hidden their discrimination a little bit better, but the fact remains that it's not going anywhere. Somebody needs to bring attention to this issue. It happens to be a judge that is an African American and because he's done that, for some reason now he's bias, racist and every other word that people have attached to him."

Attorney and Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green also met with Judge Stevens. She says the discussion about Stevens' Facebook activity is a distraction. 

"I represent a diverse district that is comprised of people of color, poor people, people of all cross sections of our community and those individuals deserve to be able to walk into a courtroom and to know that there may be a judge who's on the bench who may take issue with a panel that is not reflective of our entire community," Green explained.  

Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton removed Stevens from two cases earlier this week. We're told he's currently out of town -- and won't be deciding if Stevens will be removed from all cases until early next week.

In the affidavit filed Wednesday, Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine writes, "That Judge Stevens has presumed and proceeded to tell the world through social media that my actions were dictated by discriminatory attitudes, not only offends me, but leads me to reasonably conclude that Judge Stevens cannot be fair and impartial on cases in which I or my assistants are involved." 

Stevens' secretary says he does not do interviews.

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