A California state attorney was arguing with another attorney in court when a bailiff walked up to her, ordered her out, then grabbed her by the wrists and swung her to the floor.
Her crime: “speaking loudly” and “acting in an unprofessional manner” towards the opposing attorney.
Apparently, this bailiff hasn’t learned that is routine behavior for attorneys.
The incident took place October 20, but video of the incident was released this week.
California Deputy Attorney General Jennie Mariah Kelly was cited for resisting a police officer, but the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office has not yet filed charges, saying they are still investigating.
Kelly’s attorney said her client is a victim of battery by the bailiff. And it certainly looks that way from the video, which contains no audio.
The incident took place during recess of a civil trial in which Kelly was representing the state in a wrongful termination trial.
The jurors and the judge were not present in the courtroom, so the bailiff seized the opportunity to become the supreme authority of the courtroom at that moment.
According to The Tribune of San Luis Obispo:
About six seconds into the video, Kelly is seen waving her pen and appearing to shout at Magill, who stands mostly motionless across the courtroom and stares back at her.
Ten seconds later, a bailiff approaches Kelly’s desk with his hands folded in front of him and the two exchange words. She appears to begin arguing with the bailiff, who walks around the desk toward Kelly.
At about 26 seconds in, the bailiff is seen grabbing what appears to be both of Kelly’s hands, which he appears to hold on to as they both talk calmly for a few seconds.
Then Kelly suddenly jerks both her arms up out of the deputy’s grip and the two struggle for a second before the bailiff grabs her and brings her down to the ground. Once on the ground, Kelly is lying just outside the frame of the camera.
Other attorneys, including Kelly’s supervising attorney, appear to watch in disbelief before moving away from the action.
The deputy is seen radioing for backup and telling the attorneys to stay back while holding Kelly down on the ground.
Five more deputies arrive and help the bailiff bring Kelly to her feet. She is seen with her hands cuffed behind her back and exchanging a few more words with the deputies before being led from the courtroom through a backdoor.
The case was eventually ruled in favor of the state.
“Behavior by the bailiff was a gross and unjustified overreaction to entirely lawful conduct by Ms. Kelly. Ms. Kelly was unlawfully battered, forced to the ground and suffered having had her head pressed up against a metal rail,” Kelly’s attorney wrote in a statement.
Earlier this year, San Francisco police arrested a public defender outside a courtroom for trying to stop cops from photographing her client.
Charges were never filed in that case and she is now suing.
We imagine Kelly will also be suing.