A union official in New York is calling on a judge to step down after she released a gang member without bail on Monday. That suspect faces seven years behind bars after allegedly posting a threat on his Facebook page to kill police, just two days after a pair of officers were executed over the weekend.
“She should resign from the bench,” Dennis Quirk, head of the state court officers union, told the New York Post about Criminal Court Judge Laura Johnson. “She’s not fit to be a judge.”
The suspect, 18-year-old Devon Coley of Brooklyn, “posted on Facebook a disturbing image of a gunman blasting away at a patrol car, with the phrase ’73Nextt’ — a reference to the 73rd Precinct, which covers his Brownsville neighborhood,” the Post reports.
Coley’s lawyer says he’s merely a “knucklehead” who didn’t intend any violence.” But the prosecutor noted that Coley’s post was “more than simply a knucklehead move.” The state had asked for a bail of $250,000.
Coley is already facing trial on two unrelated cases that involve assault and gun possession. But the judge said his most recent threat wasn’t serious enough to warrant bail. “I think that for me to set bail because of the current climate — it would be a misuse of bail.” Judge Johnson is a former Legal Aid lawyer and was named to the bench by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg just last year.
The suspect is apparently remaining in New York. The Post spotted him entering his apartment on Tuesday.