Dispute among two judges over shared courtroom space

- At the time, Judge Nikita Harmon was quite literally holding court. Then, according to activists, Judge Jim Wallace arrived and allegedly demanded she vacate it so he could hear some pleas. She refused and he threatened to have her arrested.

Attorney and Houston Independent School District Board of Education Trustee Jolanda Jones organized a protest outside the Harris County Civil Courthouse.

"So I'm standing," said Jones. "I am not afraid. Judge Wallace was wrong for what he did."

Jones and other activists claim racism, that he wouldn't have threatened a white judge like that and it's indicative of racism inherent in the system.

"This is not just Judge Wallace," said Sadim Evangelista Kareem. "This is to all the other judges who think they will use their position and their power to enforce their white supremacy." 

FOX 26 News senior legal analyst Chris Tritico said it was probably a hollow threat anyway.

"I don't see a legal ground for a judge to have another judge arrested," explained Tritico. "At the end of the day, this is a reflection of what we've been through and the tension that everyone is feeling."

Th tension of cramming two courthouses, one civil and one criminal, into one building while the Harris County Criminal Courthouse undergoes major repairs. There may have been other factors at play here.

The two judges have been assigned to share the courtroom. Wallace is a Republican and Harmon is a Democrat. Wallace has been on the bench for 23 years while Harmon has just served seven months into her term. Some are calling for the senior judge to face sanctions.

"That is not the way you treat your colleague and to treat your colleague with that amount of disrespect he treated his colleague cannot go unpunished," said James Douglas with the NAACP.  

FOX 26 has tried to contact Judge Wallace and await his response.

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