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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) -- Hamilton County Judge Ted Berry apologized to a deputy because he cursed but still suggested African American judges were unfairly profiled at the courthouse.
The judge had two run-ins in November 2014 with a deputy working security. The deputy, who was relatively new on the job, followed procedure and asked Judge Berry to show his identification. The judge became enraged.
The deputy said he told him, "I don't have to show you my ---- ID, I'm Judge Berry." The deputy said he then stopped the judge from walking past and apologized saying he was still learning faces. He said the judge then told him, "You better learn who the ---- I am."
Ultimately Judge Berry did show his ID but according to the deputy and a witness, he cursed the security staff again using the F-word two more times. The next day Judge Berry had a tamer run-in with the same deputy. He came up to the checkpoint wearing a hood that partially eclipsed his face. When asked for his ID he removed his hood and refused to show his ID. When asked to show ID again he complied but told the deputy he wanted his supervisor's name and that he needed to learn how to do his job.
"Again, this is not about policy and not about race. It is about us doing our jobs and us doing our jobs and following the policy that Hamilton County judges set themselves that elected officials should be expected to show their identification when coming through security the courthouse. We take that seriously," said Mike Robison of the Hamilton County sheriff's office.
Nov. 20, Judge Berry told Local 12 News he feels there has been selective enforcement of the ID requirement against African American judges. He said there were photos of judges at the check-in kiosk so the judges can be identified by the deputies. He was only asked for ID one other time in nine years and that the new deputy apparently did not use the photos of the judges.
Berry said he did show his ID that time, but told the deputy he felt it was harassment. When it happened the next day Judge Berry said he called the deputy and his supervisor to his courtroom to discuss the situation. Berry said he was experiencing severe back pain and it caused him to be short-fused on occasion.
Berry admitted using some improper language during the session in his court, but he said he did apologize in chambers. He said he planned to bring the issue of harassment and selective enforcement of ID rules to the meeting of all judges in December.
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