Black law school student cries foul after sheriff mistakes her for a criminal defendant
Screen cap / WPRI

A Black law school student at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island is crying foul after a local sheriff mistook her for a criminal defendant while she was doing work at the Garrahy Judicial Complex in Providence.

In an interview with local news station WPRI, law student Brooklyn Crockton talked about her experience with the sheriff, who initially tried barring her from entering into the courtroom.

“He asked if I was the defendant,” she said. “It kind of threw me off balance. I was aware that situations like this had occurred with other law students, but I just couldn’t believe in that moment that it was happening to me.”

Crockton informed the sheriff that she was in court representing a client on behalf of Roger Williams University’s criminal defense clinic, and he quickly apologized and let her in.

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However, she says he continued behaving toward her in a condescending matter.

"Crockton said the sheriff approached her several times after she’d entered the courtroom, adding that he kept speaking to her as if she’d never set foot in a courtroom before," writes WPRI.

Law professor Andrew Horwitz, who was serving as Crockton's supervising attorney, told WPRI that this isn't the first time he's heard about a Black law student being treated this way.

“I don’t think we can train bias out of people,” Horwitz said. “I think the best we can do is make people aware and conscious of their bias.”

Watch WPRI's report below.

Black RWU law student claims sheriff mistook her for defendant

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