Manhattan federal court’s top judge got into a heated debate on Thursday with a black lawyer on whether the N-word can ever be interpreted as a “term of endearment.”
Muhammad Ibn Bashir, lawyer for Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson in his public-corruption trial, wanted jurors to hear audio in which a political operative-turned-government witness referred to Stevenson using the derogatory word.
But Chief Judge Loretta Preska shot down the request, saying Bashir made the request late and that she believed the comments were not relevant to jurors.
Later in the story, the NY Post reports,
The audio in question was a September 2012 conversation at Jake’s Steakhouse in the Bronx between wire-wearing Sigfredo Gonzalez and Bronx businessmen the feds allege paid Stevenson $22,000 in bribes. During the conversation, Gonzalez blurted out, “How many N—s have you seen in here?” One of the businessmen responded, “Two?” as the group waited for Stevenson to show up.
Bashir said he was trying to make a case that Stevenson and Gonzalez were political enemies — and not allies as the government claims — when the Bronx assemblyman got nabbed by the feds.
Can this trial get any more in the gutter? Stay tuned…
The public can attend this political "spectacule" weekdays at 10 AM at the federal courthouse: 500 Pearl Street, 12th Floor, Room 12A, Lower Manhattan. Take the 4, 5 or 6 train to City Hall. Walk to Foley Square then cross over to Pearl Street.
Michael Benjamin
Skype: SquarePegDem