As protests continue across America, Glenda Hatchett added her voice to those demanding an end to police brutality and justice for the victims. Ms Hatchet runs her own legal company called the Hatchett Firm in Atlanta and represented the family of Philando Castile, who was shot dead by a police officer in July 2016. She is also the star of a popular TV series called The Verdict with Judge Hatchett.
In a video posted to her Instagram account on May 29, Judge Hatchett said: “The only way we are going to see a difference in what is happening with this outrageous horrific police conduct in this country is that the police officers are not only going to have to be charged, but they are going to have to be tried and found guilty.
“The number of police officers in this country who have ever been indicted is miniscule. The number who have ever been found guilty is miniscule.”
Last year 1,098 people lost their lives in incidents involving the police, according to the research group Mapping Police Violence (MPV).
Black Americans constituted 24 percent of the deceased, despite making up only 13 percent of the overall population.
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Protests have swept the country as people express their outrage
MPV claim that African-Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
Furthermore, ninety-nine percent of police killings between 2013-2019 have not resulted in any officers being charged with a crime.
Ms Hatchett, who became the first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court in Georgia, called on black Americans to go out and vote in both local and national elections, to facilitate change.
“We’ve got to vote – I can’t put it more bluntly,” she said.
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Glenda Hatchett added her voice to those demanding an end to police brutality
“We’ve got to pay attention to who the prosecutors are in our communities, who’s on the bench, what’s happening and very importantly we need to have someone who is going to follow the law as the US Attorney in this nation.
“That is only going to happen if we have righteous people being elected, who are in the White House, who are sitting in Congress, both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.
“We’ve got to pay attention and we’ve got to hold people to account.”
Judge Hatchett was joined in her video podcast by Gwen Carr, the mother of another black American killed by police, Eric Garner.
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Judge Hatchett was joined in her video podcast by Gwen Carr
Mr Garner could be heard telling Mr Pantaleo “I can’t breathe”
Mr Garner died in July 2014, after being put in a chokehold by New York cop Daniel Pantaleo, following an altercation.
While under restraint, Mr Garner could be heard telling Mr Pantaleo “I can’t breathe”, before losing consciousness and dying.
The incident was captured on a phone video by a friend of Mr Garner’s, who posted it to social media.
It went viral and provoked an outpouring of outrage and protests across America.
Mr Garner’s dying words became the rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement and those protesting against police brutality.
The Department of Justice failed to indict the police officers involved after years of investigation, in a bitter blow to the family.
Undeterred, Ms Carr succeeded in getting a departmental trial, which resulted in officer Pantaleo being dismissed from the NYPD last August, although he is appealing the decision.
Police officer hugs protester
Ms Carr told African Americans their vote counted, and it was essential to ensure a Joe Biden victory in November’s elections, saying she didn’t want to see Donald Trump in the White House for another term.
“Now, we all know that the vote is coming up, right. A lot of times we are lax, because we say ‘oh, my vote is not going to count’, but your vote do count.
“This year we do need to go out and vote. We have to put Biden in the White House.”
Mr Chauvin has now been charged with second-degree murder, while the other three officers, previously uncharged, face counts of aiding and abetting murder.