LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After a local police union called for her resignation, the NAACP's Las Vegas chapter expressed its support of Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Erika Ballou.
Last week, Ballou's comments to a defendant during a probation revocation hearing drew fire from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.
"You're a Black man in America. You know you don't want to be nowhere where cops are," Ballou told the defendant. "You know you don't want to be nowhere where cops are, 'cause I know I don't, and I'm a middle-aged, middle-class Black woman. I don't want to be around where the cops are because I don't know if I'm going to walk away alive or not."
While LVPPA president Steve Grammas called the remarks unprofessional, offensive, and disgraceful, the NAACP described them as “consistent with the experience of the African American community in the United States and in Clark County, Nevada.”
The NAACP cited studies from 2016 that found that “out of 8,990,049 total arrests in the United States, 2,407,003 of those arrests were for Black people.” That equates to approximately 26.8% of total arrests, despite Black people accounting for only 13.4% of the national population.
A National 2021 Police Violence Report was also cited in the release, specifically data indicating that 28% of the 1,134 people killed by police were African American.
The NAACP also cited a five-year detailed analysis of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department which showed that 31% of victims of officer-involved shootings in the department's jurisdiction were African American.
The Las Vegas Chapter of the NAACP publicly disagreed with the LVPPA's statements and condemned “its misplaced reliance on the preamble to the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct in an attempt to distract the public from the truth regarding police shootings of people of color in Clark County.”
The NAACP concluded that “nothing in Judge Ballou’s statements were untrue and the LVPPA’s position on this issue reflects its defensiveness based partly on the fact that the truth hurts.”