You can see the exact moment when Jefferson District Court Judge Amber Wolf realized something very wrong was going on in her courtroom.
“Excuse me?” she asks the defendant’s attorney. “Excuse me? This is outrageous. Is this for real?”
Video footage of the Louisville, Ken., courtroom shows Wolf was already annoyed Friday morning at the sentencing of a black woman who was being recommended for 75 days in jail for failing to complete a diversion program for a 2014 shoplifting charge. But then she found out that the woman had been held in jail for three days and not been provided with pants or feminine hygiene products.
Video of the hearing shows Wolf immediately picking up her cell phone and calling the jail.
“I have a defendant who has been in your jail for three days who is standing in front of me completely pantsless.” Wolf said. “What the hell is going on? This cannot happen.”
Wolf also apologized to the defendant several times during the course of the hearing and reduced her sentence to time already served plus a $100 credit towards her fine. She had the defendant held in the courtroom until clothes could be found.
“This is not normal,” she said. “This is completely inhumane and unacceptable.”
The defendant reappears towards the end of the video wearing a yellow jumpsuit. She informs the judge that there were other women in the jail who have been there for days and not provided clothes.
“I’ve talked to three people from the Department of Corrections and I can’t explain the situation,” Wolf said. “They have assured me that it was a mistake and that it won’t happen again, but given the information you’re telling me, it makes me feel like that’s probably not correct.”
Local TV station WDRB reported local jail officials said the woman was in fact wearing shorts that were hidden by a long shirt. A spokesman for the jail said they were looking into whether or not inmates were provided with proper hygiene products.