A popular celebrity judge who became famous for arbitrating disputes between others is now in jail for a court dispute of his own.
Former Judge Joe Brown is serving a five-day jail sentence in Tennessee for a contempt of court charge, WMC Action News reports. He was observing another case in March when he decided to help out a defendant and started arguing with the presiding judge, eventually being thrown out of the court.
Now he’s comparing himself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Ferguson protesters.
“You are used to judging. How does it feel for you to be judged? You might have asked Mandela, Martin Luther King, Reverend Lowery, Stokely Carmichael,” Brown said. “You might ask people that just got arrested in Ferguson what it’s all about. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and stand up for justice.”
Brown has denied claims that the whole thing was a publicity stunt, saying he doesn’t need the publicity.
“I always used to be a hot shot about protecting people’s rights,” Brown told ABC News. “I was not happy to have my liberty detained even for 30 seconds. That’s precious. It’s not about the conditions of incarceration, it’s about the loss of liberty.”
Brown began serving his sentence Thursday and should be released Monday.
“I will not apologize for vigorously defending my client and demanding that the court follow the law,” Brown said in a statement. “What I saw was a miscarriage of justice and I did what needed to be done. I will serve the time and I will continue stand up and speak out for justice as I have done throughout my 40-year legal career.”
“When our courts don’t follow the rule of law, justice is in jeopardy for everyone,” he added. “Thank you to all of my supporters. Your prayers and well wishes are appreciated.”
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