Black Law Student Reveals White Sheriff Mistook Her For A Defendant In Courtroom
"You hear stories like this all the time with Black attorneys, but when it happens to you it is just so visceral that you don't even know what to say," Brooklyn Crockton shared in her viral TikTok.
March 12, 2022 at 12:44 am
A law student at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island recently opened up about a courtroom incident that was riddled with implicit bias in order to shed light on what Black professionals constantly have to deal with.
“So something happened to me today that I feel the need to share,” Brooklyn Crockton began in the TikTok. “I get on here a lot and talk about law school and what it’s like, but this is the quiet part that I’m just gonna say out loud.”
Crockton then shared that, as she was getting ready to enter the courtroom with an array of other lawyers, she was singled out by a white sheriff and questioned about whether she was in the right place.
“This sheriff comes out, he typically does that when he’s ready to let all the attorneys in the courtroom. I’m like the second person in line [and] he physically puts his body in between me and the door and is like ‘Please step to the side.’ And I’m like ‘Okay,’ I step to the side, and he lets everyone else come in,” she said. “So once everyone else is in, he turns to me and [asks my name]. He then says ‘I don’t have you here on the docket. Are you sure you’re in the right courtroom?’
She then said that the sheriff outright asked Crockton if she was the defendant, suggesting that he couldn’t fathom her being an attorney in training.
“I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life. I felt like crying in that moment, and the crazy about it is you hear stories like this all the time with Black attorneys, but when it happens to you it is just so visceral that you don’t even know what to say. Like I literally have all of these binders and folders and I’m dressed pretty nice,” Crockton added. “‘Like why would you assume that I was a defendant? I think we all know why.”