A Louisville, Kentucky assistant county attorney was suspended without pay from office on Thursday, after he had repeatedly made controversial and derogatory in-court remarks during the cases he was involved in the past couple of months.
Karl Price, who was working as a prosecutor for Jefferson County, has been reprimanded by his court for repeatedly using derisive language during trials, including but not limiting to racial and xenophobic stereotypification and generally offensive comments towards culprits of different backgrounds.
Price had already been ordered by county attorney Mike O’Connell to partake in sensitivity training on Tuesday after he used derogatory language in a letter towards the attorney of the Hwang Martial Arts Academy, which is run by American citizens of Korean descent. In the letter, Price referred to the citizens with appellatives such as “greedy foreigners” and claimed that they were unwilling to reach a settlement in a dispute due to some “ancient Asian principles”.
The prosecutor later defended his stance in the letter in an interview given to the local press in which he claimed that he did not know they were American citizens since his client told him that they spoke “broken English”.
Despite this, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office also reviewed some of Price’s in-court appearances earlier this year and found evidence of a repeated pattern of derogatory speech towards all manners of culprits he had faced, deeming it enough to have him suspended from office.
For example, while facing a black defendant who was apprehended for resisting arrest and trying to escape from the police, Price told him that he knew ”black guys could run”, but they will “never get away from the police” – despite the fact that Price is African-American himself.
That was not his only controversial remark. When another black defendant was brought in who had similarly tried to escape police and was found to carry a handgun, Price turned the tables and told him that he was “lucky not to get shot” because the police officer who apprehended him was white, possibly alluding to the recent Ferguson and Baltimore incidents.
Several other incidents of non-racial derogatory speech towards defendants were also observed throughout April and May trials, confirming that Price had made a habit out of using improper conduct and language for his position.
The 53-year old had been working for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office since 1992. Price did not wish to comment on the matters, instead directing questions towards the attorney’s office.