A judge in Washington state is facing condemnation and calls for his resignation following disparaging comments about a Black man who was shot and killed by the police, once more proving that white men just need to shut the fuck up.
According to the Associated Press, Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman was captured on video talking to another court official about the case of Kevin Peterson Jr., who died after three Clark County deputies fired 34 rounds at him, with four striking and killing the 21-year-old. Peterson was caught selling Xanax to an informant, so shooting him was obviously the most reasonable course of action. Peterson was armed, but investigators found no evidence that he attempted to fire.
Zimmerman described Peterson as “the Black guy they were trying to make an angel out of.” He added that Peterson was “so dumb” and implied he had a death wish. He was also critical of Peterson’s father, saying that he agreed with the police chaplain that the shooting was justified but that “the next day, he wakes up with dollar signs in his eyes and George Floyd’s attorneys had already contacted him.”
I’m so curious if he would’ve had that same energy if it was a white kid selling pills to some college students. (Spoiler: probably not.)
The video of Zimmerman’s comments were uploaded to the county’s website to adhere to Washington’s open courtrooms law, and people predictably weren’t feeling them. The Clark County District Court released a statement denouncing Zimmerman’s comments, saying “Racial bias displayed by a judge is unacceptable, unethical, unjust and cannot be tolerated,” the court said, adding that it “denounces all forms of racism and will not allow racial bias to pervade our courtrooms.”
Vancouver Defenders, one of the largest law firms in Southwest Washington, called on Zimmerman to resign. “Judge Zimmerman’s conduct erodes the public’s confidence in our judicial system. A judge’s independence, integrity, and impartiality are paramount in making our system work. When a Judge fails to uphold the canons of his profession he is no longer fit to serve. Judge Zimmerman should resign,” a statement from the firm read.
Zimmerman didn’t apologize for his comments, nor did he address the accusations of racism, simply telling the Colombian “any time we lose a life, it is a tragedy; Kevin Peterson is no exception.” According to AP, all he had to say about the backlash of his comments is that it’s time “for us, as a society to move beyond vilifying on social media those sworn to uphold the law and protect us and allow investigations to follow their due course.”
Mmmmm, nah. See, there’s this crazy concept called accountability. As a judge, Zimmerman really should learn about it sometime. As someone chosen to uphold the law, you’re going to be held accountable for what you do. The uniform doesn’t—well, at least it shouldn’t make you less accountable for fucking up. In fact, it’s the opposite. Your mistakes can get people killed or locked up for years over crimes they didn’t commit. If this is the energy Zimmerman is bringing to the cases he presides over, how can he be trusted to effectively do the job he was hired to do?
That’s all anyone is asking, really. You’re paid to do a job, so stop complaining when people ask you to do it effectively and preferably not in a racist manner. I swear, old white men love talking about “personal responsibility,” but as soon as they’re hit with that same energy they go and make shit up like “cancel culture,” and how they’re being “vilified.”
You sincerely hate to see it.