|Judge William Mallory Jr.|
Black County Judge Claims Racial Discrimination By White Deputy Who Repeatedly Refused Him Entry Into Court
Kimball Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org
A black Hamilton County judge suggested that racism caused him to be stopped at a Courthouse security checkpoint by a deputy who'd never met the judge and whom the judge loudly chastised.
"Yeah, I thought maybe I was stopped based on my race, no question about it," Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge William Mallory Jr. said Friday.
At about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Mallory was walking into the Courthouse. Like many Courthouse workers, Mallory entered at the central security checkpoint to bypass the metal detectors – and, often, the long lines there.
Mallory, though, was stopped by Deputy Brian Hogan, who has worked in the Courthouse a short time and didn't know Mallory by sight. Mallory also wasn't carrying the identification card issued to employees and lawyers who needto get through the central security checkpoint.
"I don't have an ID," Mallory told Hogan.
The judge was upset because he'd also been stopped the week before by a deputy who didn't know who he was. Mallory believed – mistakenly, it turned out – that Hogan was the same deputy in both incidents. That led the judge to assume the white deputy was singling him out because he's black.
"I was wrong in that regard," Mallory said. "I admit that was why I felt harassed. That's why I felt picked on."
The incident was documented in several reports from deputies at the scene as well as another court worker and a private citizen.
Because security in Municipal Court, where misdemeanors are heard, is largely taken care of by a group of uniformed bailiffs, Sheriff's deputies have little contact with that court. Sheriff's deputies spend the bulk of their time doing Courthouse security or in felony courts.
Hogan and two other deputies reported that Mallory, loudly and angrily, yelled at Hogan and pointed his finger in the deputy's face. They said Mallory left but soon returned with Municipal Court bailiff Percy Milton Jr. to have Milton tell Hogan that Mallory was a judge.
Mallory "continued his verbal assault while point(ing) in my face," Hogan wrote in internal documents on the incident. "At that point I told him he wasn't going to speak to me that way in the lobby. He replied with, 'I'll speak to you however I want!' and he turned and walked away."
Later that day, Mallory met with Hogan and a Sheriff's supervisor in his courtroom to discuss the incident. Even though they spoke in Mallory's office, the judge had a court reporter take down all that was said. "I just wanted it on the record," the judge said.
Mallory admitted telling the deputy and his supervisor, "We don't all look alike."
"He responded, 'you and your brothers all look alike,'" Mallory said. Mallory is the brother of former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and fellow Municipal Court Judge Dwane Mallory.
The judge said he was also frustrated with what he called the "woefully inadequate" security at the Courthouse.
"I'm black. You have to understand, I'm not accusing anybody of being racist," Mallory said later. "There are people who can walk into this building freely without being challenged. I don't think it's a racial issue at all. It's a knowledge issue."
He believes all of the judges should meet all of the deputies working at the Courthouse so they get to know each other.
Mallory wants the issue resolved because the judges have to rely on deputies to protect them and their courtrooms in a crisis.
"I need them," the judge said. "Things jump off in this court at the drop of a hat."