Judge Joe Brown Reveals 'Weird' Circumstances of Arrest
The TV judge complains to ABC News about the "loss of liberty" caused by his brief incarceration but says his time behind bars "reenergized" him.
TV judge Joe Brown found himself bars on Monday after being charge with contempt of court for allegedly causing an outburst at a child support hearing at the Shelby County Juvenile Court in Memphis.
"He darn near caused a riot in the courtroom, he had people so inflamed," Shelby County Juvenile Court Chief Magistrate Judge Dan Michael told the Associated Press of Brown.
Michael said Brown was representing a woman who had been brought in on a warrant in a child support case and was yelling and challenging the magistrate judge's authority, even addressing his comments to a crowd of people inside the courtroom, the AP reported.
But Brown told ABC News after his release that the situation was "weird," explaining he was just at the court to see how it was operating, as he had done with other courts in the area. When a woman asked him to look at her child support case, he felt obligated to do so, but that's when he got so outraged that he was ultimately found in contempt of court.
"I almost felt nauseated looking at it," Brown said of the woman's case. "When I insisted that the woman's charges be dismissed. He started talking about, I'm not an attorney so-and-so. … I said, 'You know it's wrong. ... You're better than this.' "
While Brown says he wasn't happy about the "loss of liberty" that came with his incarceration, he says he was "reenergized" by his time behind bars.
"I was not happy to have my liberty detained even for 30 seconds. That's precious. It's not about the conditions of incarceration, it's about the loss of liberty," he said, later adding. "I shook hands and took pictures with all of the staff down there, the deputy jailers and shook hands with inmates."
The TV judge, whose nationally syndicated show was canceled last year, is running for Shelby County district attorney general.
Brown laughed off claims that his arrest was a publicity stunt.
"If it was a stunt, I am a master at doing it. I just happened to by chance run into a woman in need. That's one hell of a thing to be able to pull off," he said. "Considering my ratings and the fact that I've been coming into the homes of just about everybody with a TV set in Shelby County for about 15 years, what was there to promote? Everybody knows who I am."
A hearing is set for April 4 to discuss Brown's case.