A Texas prosecutor has been given the boot after comparing a black juror’s NAACP ties to white supremacy. Prosecutor Steve Brand booted a black juror after making the outlandish comparison, then Brand was fired by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
Even though Brand removed the juror from the panel, Judge Julie Kocurek called the move improper because it was based solely on race and ordered that a new jury be seated.
KVUE reports that Brand said “It’s not because of race. It’s because in part she appeared to be an activist, and that’s what we don’t want. Just as if she was white, we wouldn’t want a white activist or a white supremacist.”
Lehmberg says she told Brand that his comments did not “reflect my opinions or my values or those of our organization.”
Brand has hired an attorney named Tom Nesbitt to represent him.
“Steve Brand is a dedicated, highly regarded, veteran prosecutor with a stellar record at the courthouse. Not once has he been accused of racially insensitive or intolerant conduct other than by Ms. Lehmberg’s recent accusation,” Nesbitt said in a statement. “His termination was an unjust, and frankly bizarre act by the District Attorney.”
Brand had defended his decision to remove the juror by explaining that “there are things on Facebook page which appeared she was an activist in several ways [sic].”