Joe Brown surrenders to authorities at Criminal Justice Center

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday, former judge Joe Brown turned himself in at the Criminal Justice Center on contempt of court charges.

According to a post on the Shelby County Sheriff’s Facebook page, Brown surrendered to Memphis Police around 12:30 p.m.

He was then handed over the Sheriff’s Office for booking and charged with contempt of court.

Once he was processed he was taken to the Shelby County Corrections Center where he was placed in the protective custody unit.

WREG was told he would be in a cell by himself in order to protect him while he is serving his five day behind bars.

The announcement Brown was going to turn himself in came Wednesday evening, just days after the Tennessee Supreme Court denied to hear his appeal.

Brown released the following statement to the media:

“I will not apologize for vigorously defending my client and demanding that the court follow the law. What I saw was a miscarriage of justice and I did what needed to be done.
I will serve the time and I will continue stand up and speak out for justice as I have done throughout my 40-year legal career.
When our courts don’t follow the rule of law, justice is in jeopardy for everyone. Thank you to all of my supporters. Your prayers and well wishes are appreciated.”

Brown originally got himself in trouble when he reportedly lost control during a March Juvenile Court hearing.

Juvenile Court Magistrate Harold Horne denied Brown’s request for that case to be dismissed, and that’s when Brown allegedly became verbally abusive.

A recording of the proceedings caught Brown saying in part, “On what authority do you sit by the way? As a former judge here, we have a rule in the 30th judicial district that says every single magistrate, referee has to be unanimously approved by every circuit, chancery, and criminal court judge. I don’t recall that your name’s ever been submitted sir!”

Horne warned Brown to calm down, but he did not.

Brown was given 24 hours in jail for contempt of court, but that increased to five days when he continued to yell as he was being removed from the courtroom saying, “This is a circus, sir. That’s three days. You can do all you want! Four days. You don’t have the jurisdiction. Five days.”

“I think he got a raw deal,” Memphian Ronnie Ware shared.

Some said Brown was just standing up for his client.

“I don’t think they should lock him up. I don’t think he should be in jail,” Ware said.

Others, like Fant, said he needs to realize rules apply to him too.

“When the judge says contempt. It’s contempt,” he said.

Fant’s advice is do the time and then bounce back.

“The judge gave him five days for contempt. Think it over, come back and probably pick it up from there,” he said.

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