PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A black judge from western Pennsylvania rejected a plea agreement for a man accused of fighting with police during a traffic stop, saying it was “a ridiculous plea that only goes to white boys.”
Allegheny County Judge Joseph Williams said on Tuesday that a black defendant in that situation would not have been treated as leniently.
Williams recused himself after making the comments, and a white judge accepted the plea agreement for 24-year-old Jeffery McGowan, who had faced charges including aggravated assault.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Williams made the comments after a prosecutor proposed three months of probation for a white man with no criminal record who agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct.
Williams’ secretary on Wednesday told The Associated Press the judge does not give interviews.