By Sandra Rose  | 

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A Cincinnati courtroom erupted in chaos after a former juvenile court judge was sentenced to serve 6 months in jail for passing confidential documents to her brother to help him keep his job.

Former judge Tracie Hunter looked wide eyed and terrified as Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick T. Dinkelacker handed down a 6-month sentence on Monday, July 22.

One of Hunter's angry supporters - a woman - rushed toward her and was immediately taken into custody. Hunter looked dazed, then went limp and fell into a female deputy's arms. The deputy then dragged her out of the courtroom to jail.

Video from a local news station shows Hunter being dragged out of the courtroom, as her supporters struggled with court officers.

"What kind of justice is that?" yelled one supporter.

The former judge was convicted of illegally passing confidential documents to her brother during a job dispute in 2014. She was sentenced on Monday following an unsuccessful appeal of her conviction.

Hunter's brother, Stephen Hunter, who worked for the juvenile court, was accused of hitting a juvenile during an arrest in 2014. Stephen faced a disciplinary hearing and risked losing his court job. He worked for the court for years before his sister was sworn in as a judge.

"I violated no laws, I did not secure a public contract, I did not secure employment for my brother who worked for the court for about seven years before I was elected judge. They need to drop these unrighteous and, I believe, unlawful charges against me," Hunter told NBC.

Hunter's supporters protested outside the courthouse and sent angry postcards to Judge Dinkelacker's house in the days leading up to the sentencing hearing. Judge Dinkelacker read some of the postcards out loud before sentence was imposed. The protests continued outside the courthouse after Hunter was locked up.

The protesters said she was being treated unfairly because she was Black and a female. Hunter was the first-ever Black judge elected to Hamilton County's Juvenile Court in 2010, according to MEAWW.com.

"We're out here because she's not here," said Iris Roley of the Cincinnati Black United Front. "She's locked up for a nonviolent charge, and taxpayers ought to be up in arms about it."

 

 

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