A Black Vermont man lambasted a judge this week for ignoring requests to impose bail on a self-described white nationalist who violated a court order by allegedly purchasing a handgun.
Bennington resident Max Misch, 36, was initially charged in February with two misdemeanor counts of possessing high-capacity magazines, which are outlawed by the state, VTDigger reported. A police affidavit filed in court on Monday showed Misch bought $350 handgun from a local armory some two months after a judge forbade him from doing so.
According to the affidavit, it was his ex-wife who reported the purchase to police.
Still, Misch managed to walk free after his arraignment when Judge William D. Cohen ruled that he wouldn’t have to pay bail. Assistant Attorney General John Waszak argued that the defendant “violated probably the most salient and important condition of release,” and requested that a $200 bond be imposed, according to the Bennington Banner.
The judge declined, and instead ordered Misch to adhere to his existing conditions of release. In addition, Cohen forbade him from entering into any establishment “[where] the primary business is selling firearms or dangerous/deadly weapons.”
Shawn Pratt, a Black man who attended Monday’s hearing, objected to the ruling and excoriated the judge for being much too lenient on Misch.
“This is unfair,” Pratt shouted from the back of the courtroom. “He should be locked up!”
In a video obtained by VTDigger, Pratt explains that his nephew “didn’t get no conditions” when he was detained on a high bail for nearly a year before the charges against him were dropped.
“You’re letting him walk out of here guys!” he screams as Misch exits the courtroom. “My nephew, he was in jail for a whole year, your honor! A whole year! For nothing! He’s black.”
Pratt continues his pleas as a uniformed officer removes him from the room moments later.
“Keep on with these racial disparities, guys!” he yells. “We’re watching all of you!”
Misch also got off scot-free earlier this year after the state’s attorney general declined to pursue criminal charges against him for the online bullying and racial harassment of Vermont’s sole Black lawmaker, Rep. Ruqaiyah “Kiah” Morris, (D-Bennington).
Morris resigned last September after months of suffering racial harassment and threats against herself and her family.
Watch more in the video below.