HOUSTON - Activists with the Texas Organizing Project gathered in front of Harris County Commissioner's Court Wednesday with a clear message!
“We're here to tell Harris County to settle the bail lawsuit now, stop wasting millions of tax dollars to defend and practice an unconstitutional bail system,” said Tarsha Jackson, Criminal Justice Director for Texas Organizing Project.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that Harris County's bail system discriminates against the poor.
“I didn't spend four days in jail because I was dangerous, I spent four days in jail because I didn't have $500 to buy my freedom, that is not right," says Loetha Shanta McGruder, one plaintiff in the case.
Harris County has already spent $6 million on the lawsuit.
Judge Ed Emmett's office has stated there's an offer on the table, they're waiting to hear from the plaintiffs.
And now, adding insult to injury, comments made by Harris County District Judge Michael McSpadden, to the Houston Chronicle, show McSpadden instructed hearing officers to deny personal recognizance bonds to young black male defendants because they are "tainted" and "not good risks."
“Resign! Resign today. Because everybody deserves a fair chance when they come in contact with the criminal justice system,” Jackson said at the demonstration downtown.
McSpadden reportedly went on to say black defendants do not "get good advice from their parents," but rather bad advice from "rag-tag organizations like Black Lives Matter."
McSpadden has not responded for comment, and is currently running for re-election in the 209th judicial court this year. Whether or not these words bite him back, are yet to be seen.