Judge John Russo, who is white, ordered white police officers to tape shut the mouth of a black man, Franklyn Williams, during his sentencing hearing in Cleveland on July 31 (raw video below).
In a phone call from prison, Williams told WJW on Aug. 2:
So when they put the tape on my mouth I just felt, I felt so humiliated. I just felt like wow it’s abuse of discretion in the courtroom.
…Cause the judge would not allow me to say the things that I was trying to say on record. He would always stop me before I was able to explain anything on my behalf.
Williams was convicted for armed robberies and more crimes in December 2017 even though he disappeared at trial.
Williams told WJW that he doesn`t remember a trial:
Yes, sir. I was hit in the head, and I didn’t receive no medical treatment. I lost my mind. I lost my memory. I don’t even remember me going to a trial. That’s what I was trying to tell them.
And I was so concerned about if my children seen this, and my family seen this. I feel that my constitutional right of freedom of speech has been violated.
Russo said he was justified in ordering the taping because Williams showed disrespect for the system and parties involved.
Williams plans to appeal his conviction.
Get the latest breaking news video clips before everyone else with our newsletter! We do not share or sell your email address with anyone.