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Judge accused of racist outburst

Have you heard the one about the Mississippi judge that likes dressing up as a security guard and being racist?

Unfortunately, it's not a joke.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the family of a mentally disabled black man has filed a complaint against Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger.

The complaint alleges Weisenberger, a former cop, struck 20-year-old Eric Rivers at the Canton Flea Market May 8, and yelled "run [n-word] run."

A vendor at the flea market told The Clarion-Ledger Rivers was at the flea market and asked if he could help unload trucks for money to buy a bike.

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Weisenberger, working as a security guard at the flea market, was observed slapping Rivers twice. He later bragged about his behavior, according to witnesses.

The judge has not responded to Clarion-Ledger phone calls and interview requests. Weisenberger's campaign website is offline but a cached version says he attended high school for 10 years.

The executive director of the state Judicial Commission said if the allegations are true, they would "violate multiple canons" of the Judicial Code of Conduct.

The local leader of the NAACP says Weisenberger should step down until a grand jury looks into the incident.

The mayor of Canton, Miss., says the judge is "being investigated."

A family friend says Rivers has been traumatized by the experience.

Justice Courts judges, which have jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, may conduct bond hearings and preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases and may issue search warrants.

In Mississippi, all you need to be a Justice Court judge is a high school diploma, six hours of training per year and enough votes to get elected.

Not being racist is optional, apparently.




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