And now the Merritt Landry case has attracted the NAACP’s outrage engine, together with perhaps the city’s most prolific race-hustling lawyer.
At issue – the fact that Landry was granted bail on Friday of last week by Judge Franz Zibilich despite some of the paperwork not quite having been perfected – something that Landry was able to cure on Tuesday.
Community leaders on Wednesday called for local Judge Franz Zibilich to step down, as well as an investigation into how he handled the initial property bond for Merritt Landry.
Police arrested Landry, 33, last Friday for attemped second-degree murder for shooting Marshall Coulter, 14, in the head.
Landry found the teen inside his fenced-in yard just before 2 a.m. and told police he fire his gun when the teen reached for something.
Now, the NAACP and several other community leaders are calling for justice after learning the initial bond granted for Landry was deemed illegal by District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
“If we are going to have a justice system in this city, then we all want to be treated equally,” said Robert Goodman with the safe streets, strong communities organization.
Outrage erupted in the community after it was discovered that presiding Judge Franz Zibilich granted Landry bond on Friday afternoon, allowing him to walk out of jail, even though the proper paperwork had not been submitted or processed yet.
“The paperwork could not get reviewed until the office people come in on Monday,” said Tracie Washington, a civil rights attorney with the Louisiana Justice Institute. “That is why so many folks get stuck in parish prison all weekend.”
Washington has a fairly long history of race-baiting and ugly attacks on people who aren’t part of the race industry. We had a piece a couple of years ago on her attacks on BESE candidate Kira Orange Jones, but there’s lots more. For instance, here’s a window into Tracie Washington’s soul…
“I’m not sure I’m making history as much as waves,” Washington told theGrio. “I’ll share with you this story: I was in line at Walgreens and a woman asked if I was the lawyer she always sees on TV. I told her yes. She just smiled and said, “I just love watching you. Every time you come on TV the old man I sit with gets so mad. He just says ‘She can’t talk to us like that.’ It’s the 21st century. We still have black women in NOLA making less than minimum wage sitting with rich old white folks who don’t think we have a right to talk back to them.”
With that mentality, no wonder Washington would demand that Zibilich step down for the unpardonable sin of letting somebody who owns property in the jurisdiction make bail on a Friday with what turned out to be incomplete paperwork…
“Clearly, from what we have seen, he has violated not only the law, but the code of ethics,” said Washington. “He needs to step down.”
The NAACP is also making a big deal out of the fact that Zibilich, who’s a Democrat in good standing but is a person of pallor, once represented Landry’s brother on a drug charge.
“We want to see the system work, that’s what we want,” said New Orleans branch NAACP President Danatus King. “Right now there is no way Judge Zibilich can preside over this matter, no way in the world.”
And there’s the threat to bring Eric Holder into the mix if they don’t get what they want…
The NAACP officials contacted several government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, and say they will keep pushing the issue until an investigation is conducted.
It’s not hard to see that this is a shameless play for publicity. It’s also an indication of how vindictive and petty the NAACP is for demanding a judge’s resignation over whether somebody had to spend a weekend in jail or not. And it’s a decent indication of how hungry the New Orleans NAACP is to make the Landry case into the next George Zimmerman trial. Making a play to get Zibilich recused is part of that; the NAACP wants a black judge on that case in the worst way.
It’s naturally a rush to judgement and an attempt to politicize the case – and further to destroy the defendant’s presumption of innocence out of a sense that because a typical black defendant gets treated as immediately guilty, a white guy should be treated the same way.
Plus it makes headlines, and it’s a good way to raise money. If race relations in New Orleans get trashed along the way, that’s cool – so much the better for an organization in a constant quest for relevance.
Booker T. Washington had these guys pegged 100 years ago…
“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”