A Texas judge has apologized for a now-deleted Facebook comment suggesting a black suspect be put to death by hanging.
via the Austin American-Statesman:
The top elected official in Burnet County commented on Facebook that it is “time for a tree and a rope” in a post regarding the arrest of the man suspected of killing San Antonio police Det. Benjamin Marconi this weekend, according to a screenshot of the Facebook post.
County Judge James Oakley issued a public apology about the comment Wednesday.
The post is no longer on Oakley’s Facebook page, but a screenshot shows that the comment was posted from his personal account. Oakley appears to have made the comment Monday, after Otis Tyrone McKane was arrested. McKane is charged with killing Marconi. The detective was shot as he sat in his vehicle Sunday after making a traffic stop.
In addition to presiding over a five-member commissioner’s court in Burnet County, Oakley is also on the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s executive committee, the board for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s board.
Oakley said his comment was “off the cuff” and “indeed curt and harsh.”
“It is for that reason that I deleted it soon after posting and apologize for not being more thoughtful and comprehensive in my expression,” Oakley said in an email. “What I should have posted, if anything, is a comment that more clearly reflects my opinion on the cowardly crime of the senseless murder of a law enforcement officer.”
His view of McKane “is the same regardless of ethnicity,” Oakley said.
“To be clear, I advocate due process,” Oakley said. “I also support the death penalty in cases where the ultimate crime has been committed and there is clear and complete evidence and where all steps of the judicial process have been respected. I would also point out that I am an administrative judge and do not preside over criminal court.”
Reporter James Walker, who previously worked for the Burnet Bulletin newspaper and now works for the Weatherford Democrat newspaper outside Fort Worth, said he saw Oakley’s comment and took the screenshot Tuesday morning.
The Pedernales Electric Cooperative issued a statement Wednesday about Oakley’s comment.
“PEC is aware of the comments recently made by Director Oakley on his personal Facebook account,” the statement says. “PEC does not condone any type of offensive language. Comments such as these are not a reflection of our cooperative values. We proudly welcome and serve all members.”
Take a look at the now-deleted screenshot below. These racist officials are getting FAR too comfortable.