A Detroit judge told a 19-year-old gang member that he needed a father “to beat the hell out of him” and keep him out of trouble.
Latrez Cummings, 19, was involved in a brutal mob-style assault on a motorist in April.
Cummings and four others have pleaded guilty to assaulting Steve Utash. Utash had stepped out of his pickup truck in April to help a 10-year-old child who had stepped in front of his vehicle, at which point the mob pounced on him.
Utash was in a coma for several days after the attack.
Wayne County Judge James Callahan took it upon himself to reprimand Cummings, telling him that he needed a father to look after him and keep him in line while he was growing up, “as opposed to allowing you or encouraging you to do it to somebody else.”
Callahan sentenced Cummings to six months in jail.
The judge’s comments were followed by a loud exchange with assistant prosecutor Lisa Lindsay, who maintained that the six-month sentence was too light.
When Lindsay accused the judge of offering Cummings leniency because the young man didn’t have a father growing up, the conversation took a racial turn.
As Daily Mail reports, Lindsay noted that many young black men have been raised without a father but haven’t committed crimes, to which Callahan replied, “Did I ever use the term ‘black?’”
“It doesn’t matter if a person is black, white, yellow or red,” she replied.
Cummings was the last defendant to be sentenced in the case. The longest sentence awarded was nearly six-and-a-half years for a man who had a preexisting criminal record.