Judge Olu Stevens graduated from Morehouse College, George Washington University Law School and is the circuit court judge for the 30th Judicial Circuit in Jefferson, Kentucky. However, he still must endure overt racism while presiding in court.
After initially giving White suspect Adam Satterly a bond on drug charges, Satterly walked out of the court and yelled, “Punk a– n—-r!” The comment was directed toward Judge Stevens and the entire court could hear the racist comment. Shortly thereafter, Judge Steven made Stevens return to the court and confronted the defendant.
“Is there something that you wish to say to me?” Stevens asked Satterly. Satterly attempted to backtrack from his previous statement and told Judge Stevens that he was talking to his brother. But Judge Stevens rejected his claim and scolded the defendant in court. “You don’t speak those words in here. And that word, particularly, you don’t use that word. I’m going to give you 60 days for having used that word. I’m going to hold you in contempt right now for having used it in this courtroom. It’s disrespectful, don’t ever do it again.”
Judge Stevens, 44, has also confronted racism during other instances in court. He once dismissed an all-White jury because of its lack of racial balance and because the defendant was Black. Judge Stevens didn’t believe that the man was facing a jury of his peers. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Dorislee Gilbert was upset and claimed that Judge Stevens didn’t have a right to use race as a basis for dismissal.
In another incident, Judge Stevens told a White family that they held racist views against all Blacks because they were allegedly victimized by Black men who robbed their home. The family said their 4-year-old daughter was now scared of Black people. Judge Stevens was offended that the family would allow one incident to make them react negatively against all Blacks.
Judge Stevens doesn’t shy away from his sentiments and once posted on Facebook that he would “stand alone” if it came down to remaining true to his convictions.