(WMC-TV) - Some people are wondering whether Judge Joe Brown's disruption inside a juvenile courtroom Monday was for show or for justice.
The former TV judge is running for Shelby County District Attorney General Attorney. Action News 5 asked Democratic Party Chairman Bryan Carson if Brown's arrest and contempt of court charges were a publicity stunt.
"Absolutely not. He did not plan on going to jail, but he did not mind going to jail for justice," said Carson. "Judge Joe Brown's main message is to let everyone know about the corruptions and the mess that's going on down at juvenile court, and once he's elected as district attorney he plans to clean up the mess down at juvenile court."
Lang Wiseman is DA Amy Weirich's campaign manager.
"Amy Weirich is focused on being the best district attorney she can be. She's a career prosecutor. This isn't a game to her. It's not an advocation," said Wiseman.
He says only voters can decide who has the necessary temperament and integrity to be DA.
"Joe Brown is about Joe Brown. It's almost as if he left off in 1994 with a certain stump speech, and he's come back, and he's picked right back up where he left off without, I think, without a fundamental understanding of how things have evolved since then," said Wiseman.
Carson says Brown's upset about rape kits, juvenile court, and other issues including voter turnout in the democratic primary. The primaries are May 6, and the general election is August 7.
"He also wants to use his star power to galvanize and captivate a lot of people in the community to bring them out to the polls to support the other democratic candidates," said Carson.
Brown's "Elect Judge Joe Brown for Shelby County District Attorney General" Facebook page seems to compare himself to Martin Luther King Jr. One post reads:
"Judge Joe Brown, jailed in Memphis! This is not any different than when Martin Luther King was jailed repeatedly, while fighting for our rights."
There is more than one post referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the page, seemingly comparing Judge Joe Brown landing behind bars for contempt of court with the Civil Rights Movement.
"I think what that's supposed to be is just like King got put in jail for trying to protect people's rights. That's what happened to me and that's exactly what went on," said Brown.
Brown, 66, told Action News 5 at his home as he was heading toward a limo that he is not spending any more time behind bars.
"I'll be damned if anybody get away with mistreating the people of this county, even if I have to be jailed, which by the way I wasn't supposed to be," he said.
Carson says Brown was in the juvenile court room to support a friend.
"A friend of his, Tarik Sugarman, is a candidate running for that particular courtroom he was observing," said Carson.
Carson says Brown noticed a woman did not have representation, so he volunteered to represent her for free.
After reportedly being disorderly in court, Brown stayed in jail on Monday for a few hours.
Criminal Court Judge James Beasley, who released Brown, says he was not a flight risk or danger to himself or others. Beasley released him on his own recognizance.
Juvenile court magistrates do have the power to jail people for contempt. Brown faces five days in jail on contempt charges.
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