A judge in Michigan bawled out a mother who along with her daughter was robbed by two Black men. When she made her impact statement to the court she said her three-year-old daughter is now frightened of Black men as a result of the robbery and that affected her friendships at school. As the result, the judge reamed out the mother for not keeping her daughter from fearing Black men. A three-year-old girl? Get serious.
When my son was three my wife and I took him to the park to see the Fourth of July fireworks. After the first volley, my son went into a panic. There was no way I could stop him from being afraid of fireworks, but when he got older, he grew out of it. Assuming that any parent can stop children from being afraid after a traumatic experience is just not realistic. The judge should have used his venom on the muggers, not the victim.
A young 3-year-old girl was severely traumatized after an incident in 2013:
Jordan and Tommy Gray’s 3-year-old daughter was watching “SpongeBob” when two armed men broke into their home near Buechel on March 21, 2013, and robbed them at gunpoint.
Two years later, when one of the offenders was about to be sentenced, Jordan wrote in a victim impact statement that her daughter was still “in constant fear of black men.” Both robbers were African-American.
But when the sentencing occurred, the judge went after the victims:
“This little girl certainly has been victimized, and she can’t help the way she feels,” he said. “My exception is more with her parents and their accepting that kind of mentality and fostering those type of stereotypes.”
The Grays were not in court as Stevens denounced their statements and granted probation to Wallace, whom he said deserved the opportunity to redeem himself.
But they did see when Stevens condemned their statements again, in a post on Facebook.
“Do three year olds form such generalized, stereotyped and racist opinions of others?” he wrote. “I think not. Perhaps the mother had attributed her own views to her child as a manner of sanitizing them.”
Stevens, who was appointed to the bench in 2009 and re-elected last year without opposition, did not mention the Grays or Wallace by name on Facebook. He noted in court and in his post that “the statement played absolutely no role in the sentencing decision.”