Black Law Student Says Deputy Confused Her For A Defendant


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A Black law student in Rhode Island says she was prevented from entering a courtroom because a white deputy mistook her for a defendant.

Brooklyn Crockton is a third-year law student at the Roger Williams University School of Law and was attempting to enter a courtroom last week to represent a client as part of the school's criminal defense clinic when the deputy blocked her way. The deputy allowed other attorneys to enter, the deputy asked Crockton for her name and told her it wasn't on the docket.

"Are you sure you are in the right court room?" Crockton said the deputy asked her. "Are you the defendant?"

Crockton posted a video to TikTok detailing the experience that has now gone viral, catching more than 340,000 views and 3,000 comments.

"I felt like crying in that moment," Crockton says in the video. "The crazy part about it is you hear stories like this all the time with Black attorneys, but when it happens to you, it is so visceral that you don't even know what to say."

Rhode Island state law allows for law students to represent some defendants in criminal cases under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Crockton says she wasn't with her supervisor at the time, but had "all of my binders and folders" to prepare for court.

She also said that she was second in line with the other attorneys at the time of the incident.

"Why would you assume that I was a defendant?" she says at the end of the video. "I think we all know why."

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