A black woman from Kentucky was humiliated by jail officials when she was brought into a courtroom without pants, leaving a Louisville judge in disbelief.
“Am I in the Twilight Zone right now?” Judge Amber Wolf asked on courtroom video Friday afternoon.
The female defendant in the video was in jail for failing to complete a diversion program for a prior shoplifting charge. During her time at Metro Corrections in Louisville she said she was never given a uniform and was forced to spend her time there without pants or feminine hygiene products.
Wolf immediately began making phone calls to Metro Corrections officials in the video, outraged over the treatment of the woman.
“I’m not trying to embarrass you, I’m very sorry,” Wolf told the defendant in court. “Can we get her something to cover up with? Anything, anything, anything. I don’t care what it is.”
Steve Durham, a spokesman for the jail, told local station WDRB that the woman had not been in custody long enough to receive a jail jumpsuit. She had been in the jail for three days prior to her court appearance.
“What the hell is going on?” Wolf can be heard saying on the phone. “I am holding her here until she is dressed appropriately to go back to jail. This is outrageous.”
“This is her only charge ever,” Wolf added. “She should have been in jail for maybe a day, tops.”
Jail officials contend that the woman was wearing athletic shorts covered by a long shirt, according to WDRB. The defendant told the judge other inmates at the facility were also being denied proper clothing and basic hygiene products.
“She did not have jumpsuit pants on, she had the clothes she was wearing when she was arrested,” Metro Corrections said in a statement posted to their Facebook page. “Happens every day. ..tank tops, t-shirts, running short, short dresses, sandals and flip flops....it’s a hot Kentucky summer.”
The department added that female sanitary napkins were “in large supply in the fresh arrest dorm.”
“I just want to tell you how incredibly sorry I am that you’ve been treated this way,” Wolf told the defendant after she was clothed and brought back into the courtroom. “No one deserves this, but particularly in a situation like this where you failed to complete a diversion program and didn’t even pick up new charges.”
Wolf gave the woman a sentence of time served and a $100 fine.
“The fact you’re in custody is your fault ― you gotta come to court,” Wolf said. “The rest of this is completely inhumane and unacceptable, and I’m incredibly sorry you had to go through this.”