Tenn. Judge Chides Black Men for Doing Better Job Than KKK

Montgomery County Judge Wayne Shelton's comment gets divided reaction
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2019 1:13 PM CST

It's not the first time this Tennessee judge has likened black-on-black crime to KKK violence, reports the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, but it's certainly the most publicized. In a Thursday hearing in the case of Vincent Bryan Merriweather, Montgomery County Judge Wayne Shelton exclaimed that he's "sick of it," with it being the disregard he continually sees for human life, particularly when it comes to young black men shooting at each other for flimsy reasons. The impassioned lines (listen to them here) getting wide coverage: "I grew up in a time where people wore white robes and they shot at black people. And now we see young black men wearing black hoodies shooting at black men—and doing much more effective job than the Klan ever thought about doing."

Merriweather is accused of the Nov. 19 murder of Antorius Gallion, who was shot in the head while driving. Both men were in cars with others at the time; the two groups' beef with one another allegedly began at a middle school basketball game, when two men's feet touched in the stands, triggering an eventual argument. Shelton, for his part, emphasized that he's been preaching that "Black Lives Matter" for years. Some on social media are branding his comments "racist"; others took issue with Shelton's implication that the KKK is a thing wholly of the past. But WSMZ reports the head of the local NAACP branch thinks Shelton was "on point." The Leaf Chronicle reports Shelton is his state's longest-sitting judge: He was appointed in 1979 and has won all subsequent elections. (More Black Lives Matter stories.)

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