Man uses his use of racial slurs to argue jury was prejudiced against him

Nov 2013
None of your business
This is such circular logic, I am surprised it doesn't fly up it's own asshole and disappear

Man's slur against black cop didn't unfairly influence jury, court finds |

A jury that found a Portland man guilty of resisting arrest heard not only about the man's scuffle with police but also that he used the n-word to describe a black officer who drove him to jail.

After his conviction, 37-year-old Joshua Scott Lipka, who is white, argued that the word is so inflammatory that it might have led the jury to brand him a racist and find him guilty even though he didn’t commit the actual crime of resisting arrest.

Lipka asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to overturn his conviction.

On Thursday, two of three judges on the Appeals Court found that Lipka's use of the word was legitimate evidence of his animosity toward police and that hatred would give him reason to tussle with an officer.

Lipka’s conviction stands, they ruled.

Lipka had seemed to be looking for trouble in the predawn hours of June 30, 2014, when Portland police officer Kenneth Huntinghouse encountered him walking down the middle of Southeast 63rd Avenue and blocking Huntinghouse’s patrol car, according to a probable cause affidavit.

When Huntinghouse yelled at Lipka to get out of the street, Lipka ignored him, the affidavit says. Lipka told Huntinghouse that there was a warrant for his arrest and that he was going to run, according to the affidavit.

Huntinghouse put Lipka into a hold and the two wrestled, according to the affidavit.

Afterward, Officer Rashida Saunders, who is black, drove Lipka to jail. She reported that Lipka called her the n-word, according to the Appeals Court summary of the case.

Lipka also called Huntinghouse, who is not black, the n-word, police said. Lipka later explained to police that he uses the term based on a person’s behavior, not the person’s race.

Before the February 2015 trial, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Michael Greenlick rejected defense attorney Jonathan Sarre’s arguments that allowing jurors to hear about Lipka’s use of the racial epithet could unfairly prejudice the jury.

Prosecutor Joel Petersen told the judge that letting jurors hear about Lipka’s use of the word was fair game because it supported the argument that Lipka held the police in disdain and explained his motivations.

Lipka was found guilty of resisting arrest, but acquitted of assaulting a police officer. He was sentenced to a year in jail, and has already served his time.

Judges Joel DeVore and Steven Powers upheld Lipka’s conviction. Judge Chris Garrett dissented.

In disagreeing with the majority, Garrett wrote that the value of allowing the jury to hear about Lipka's use of the racial epithet is outweighed by the unfair bias it creates. Garrett noted that the word has been referred to as the “nuclear bomb of racial epithets.”

Garrett said that there was other evidence of Lipka’s animus toward officers that the prosecution could have relied upon. That included testimony that Lipka said he “hated the police” and his boasting that he “kicked” Huntinghouse’s “ass.”
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