Controversial Tennessee DA Will Remain On Black Activist’s Assault Case Despite Past Remarks | Nashville Public Radio

Controversial Tennessee DA Will Remain On Black Activist’s Assault Case Despite Past Remarks

Aug 15, 2019

A Nashville judge ruled on Thursday that a controversial prosecutor will continue handling the case involving black activist Justin Jones and former House Speaker Glen Casada.

Jones has claimed that Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott should be disqualified after lobbying state lawmakers and making anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.

But, General Sessions Judge Dianne Turner was not persuaded.

Turner said she doesn’t think it’s appropriate for her remove Northcott from the assault case. Although Justin Jones faces assault charges in Davidson County, Northcott was assigned by the state to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.

The assignment came after Nashville District Attorney Glen Funk recused himself after being contacted by Casada's former chief of staff claiming Jones had sent an email after his arrest, violating a no-contact order. Jones sent the email three days before his arrest.

Jones told reporters and supporters that Turner's ruling means Northcott won’t be held accountable for his statements.

“It seems that the judge already had her mind made up before she even heard the motions that were filed today," Jones said. "So, we know that’s not justice either.”

Jones said that even though Northcott has been allowed to stay on this case, he hopes that the DA won’t be assigned any others involving minorities.

"He is not a reflection of our values of equality, of liberty, of justice," Jones said. "He is a very extreme fraction of people who think some people are acountable to laws and some people are not. He is an extremist."

Meanwhile, Northcott says the complaints against him are a "political stunt ... to try to get me out of the way so they can handpick someone who can bow to their pressure."

Jones is accused of throwing a cup with liquid toward then House Speaker Glen Casada and other lawmakers during a protest in the Tennessee Capitol earlier this yer. 

He is due back in court on the assault charge in November.