(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) — The video of a judge in Tennessee scolding a gang member who allegedly shot a rival has gone viral, showing her telling him, “This is not your hood.”
Judge Lila Statom, a Hamilton County General Sessions court judge in Chattanooga, was appointed in 2012 and re-elected last year. On April 16, she lectured O’Shae Smith, a man who was accused of shooting a rival gang member for being “in his hood,” a public housing project.
“Sir, East Lake Courts is not your hood,” Statom says in the video captured by local TV station WRCB that has been viewed more than 475,000 times so far.
“It’s the citizens of the United States who own that, because they work and pay taxes. You don’t own that,” Statom adds in the video. “People like you have made it a violent, unsafe place to live. And hopefully we will be able to make it the place that it used to be, back when it was originally built for people who did not have anywhere else to live to make it a safe place.”
Smith was wearing cuffs and an orange jumpsuit next to his attorney in front of the judge.
“I don’t think you want to say a word to me, Mr. Smith,” Statom says in the video.
An attorney for Smith, P. Andrew Coyle, declined to comment.
The defendant did not make a plea or statement during the preliminary hearing. The judge found a probable cause existed and the case will next go before a grand jury. Smith is being held without bond on the charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous offense.
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