Critics Not Buying Judge Kemp’s Explanation for Black Bailiff Seen Stroking Amber Guyger’s Hair During Trial

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The Black judge in the high-profile murder trial of white ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger defended a bailiff seen running her fingers through the Guyger’s hair on court video.

The bailiff, a Black woman, has been criticized on social media for what many assumed was preferential treatment for the former cop convicted of killing 26-year-old PwC associate Botham Jean in his own apartment Sept. 6, 2018.

“She was accused of stroking her hair, but actually what she’s looking for is contraband or weapons,” Judge Tammy Kemp said of the bailiff. “And they do that to every female, so if you come to the Dallas County Jail …”

Kemp gave the explanation on the Tamron Hall Show, which was posted Thursday on YouTube.

The judge said when the bailiff was shown with Guyger, she had just been found guilty of murder Oct. 1 and “was not free to move about.”

“She was in the custody of the sheriff’s department,” Kemp said. “However, we were on a lunch break and I couldn’t send her to the jail to be frisked, so we ask a female bailiff to stay with her throughout the lunch break.”

Hall responded:

“This is why we do this show. This moment went viral.”

The audience applauded.

“This woman was mocked on social media,” Hall said. “People said things about her, they referred to her, that were horrible.”

“There were people who said ‘look at her, a Black woman being a mammy,'” Hall said. “They assaulted her on social media, and she was doing her job.”

Related: ‘Subtle Mammying Going On’: Black Officer Stroking Amber Guyger’s Hair During Murder Conviction is Ruthlessly Criticized

Filmmaker Tariq Nasheed, who on Oct. 1 tweeted what he saw on court TV, described it as “some subtle mammying going on.”

He had this to say on Twitter Thursday about the judge’s explanation.

“Wait….. So now #TammyTheMammy is saying that the bailiff in the Guyger trial was NOT stroking Amber’s hair.. But she was checking for CONTRABAND? If she don’t get ALL THE WAY TF outta here with that BS#smh”

More than 2,000 people had liked the tweet by Friday morning.

Kemp said Hall’s show is so important “because we have to educate the public.”

The judge also told Hall she had been receiving threats and her family is concerned for her safety.

“My family’s concerned, but I’m not,” Kemp said.

Seconds later, she teared up.

“My faith is strong,” she said. “If God brings me to it, he’ll bring me through it.”

The judge has also been heavily criticized for hugging Guyger and giving her a Bible following a jury handing down a 10-year prison statement for the woman.

Related: Judge Kemp Shares What Amber Guyger Asked Her That Made Her Feel Compelled to Give Her a Hug and Bible

“Ms. Guyger asked about forgiveness,” Kemp said. “Ms. Guyger asked if I would hug her. I don’t think any human being would have refused her at that moment.”

Hall patted the judge’s leg and told her she was “such a strong” woman.

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