A Broward County judge blasted a public defender for suggesting that a suspect was being reasonable when he fled officers because he feared he could be the next black man to die in a police encounter after a Fort Lauderdale police officer was shot at.
Judge John “Jay” Hurley told public defender Dale Miller not to “poison” the case by trying to link 26-year-old Stephen Hall Clarke — who was found hiding under a dock and wearing an empty gun holster, police said — to the national debate over race and police-related violence.
“Your honor, in light of what’s happening in this country with unarmed black men being killed by police, him running from shots being fired is a very reasonable response,” Miller said.
“Don’t give me that,” Hurley responded. “That is so off base.”
“Don’t hand me this, ‘running from police brutality [argument],'” he said. “That is not appropriate in this case. I’m not going to let you poison this case with bringing in something that has nothing to do with it.”
“We’ve got a young man, I don’t care what color he is, he’s in a neighborhood he doesn’t live in at 1:41 in the morning, hiding under somebody’s dock in the water with a holster on after a police officer had a shot taken at him,” Hurley said, referring to Clarke’s arrest.