Judge Davis’s concerns about maintaining order in the courthouse were well founded, to say the least. He knows what he is doing, or trying to do.
While we were waiting to be admitted to Judge Davis’s courtroom this morning a few mintues ago, a rumble broke out between Somali factions in the hallway. A young Somali woman started yelling that she would not be instructed where to sit by another of the Somalis (I beLieve). She was screaming and yelling vulgarities. The factions break down between families of the defendants and family of Abdirizak Warsame, the witness who is now on the stand and cooperating with the prosecution.
The FBI interceded, took the screaming young lady to the ground and handcuffed her. She has been removed. Others have been warned. My former student who is here supporting the families — I believe she is a social justice warrior for jihad — was also removed for taking a photo. She argued lamely as she was led away down the hall.
All this occurred within shouting distance of the jury room, (not just) so to speak. This case is a challenge in more ways than one.
UPDATE: Judge Davis had one of the participants in the melee brought before him. The young man is dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. He sports a scraggly beard and holds his hands in his pockets. Judge Davis stated: “There was an altercation out in the hallway and I understand you were part of that. You were asked for your name and id. and you refused to give that.” Judge Davis had the man sworn in and ordered the young man to identify himself and state his address. He is Burhan Mohumed.
Judge Davis asked why he didn’t follow the deputy’s orders and keep quiet. He asserted he “was trying to break up the altercation.” He was detained and told to sit down, though he resisted when the marshal sought to photograph him (the protocol set by Judge Davis for this trial). Judge Davis tells him: “You have an attitude and I can get one too. My understanding is you’ve had an attitude for the last three or four days.”
He responded: “I respect the court, sir.” Judge Davis ordered him taken downstairs, photographed and released, but after a report from a marshal had him brought back. Judge Davis was advised that the man had been removed three times previously from the overflow courtroom. After a few exchanges with the judge, he admits that he was removed more than once for using his phone in the courtroom.
Based on his attitude and prior removals, Judge Davis has banned him from the courthouse for the duration of this trial. Parting words: “I will sign the order and if you come back in you will be trespassing and be arrested.”
We haven’t yet gotten back to Warsame.