Judge: "It's on now"

July 3, 2008 5:12:47 PM PDT
There are two very different stories are coming from the Harris County Sheriff's Department and a municipal judge accused of evading arrest. She says she's being targeted by the department. The sheriff's department says that's not the case. We first told you about Judge April Walker's arrest on Eyewitness News Wednesday night. Since then, both she and the sheriff's department have come on the record with much different stories about what happened.

When Judge Walker was led away in handcuffs Wednesday, she promised she'd have more to say.

"We will have a news conference tomorrow," she said.

And on Thursday, she did.

"They resurrected the fight in me," she said. "It's on now."

It all started Wednesday when Harris County deputies arrested Walker's son for allegedly trespassing at a home. When Walker arrived, deputies claimed she identified herself as a attorney and attempted to open the back door of a patrol car. When deputies ordered her away, they say things only escalated.

"The female in the vehicle put the vehicle in reverse and began backing up at a high rate of speed," said Captain John Martin with the Harris County Sheriff's Department. "The seargent yelled for her to stop. She did not stop. In fact, she continued driving backwards in what he describes at an erratic fashion."

But Walker said that never happened. She admits reversing out of the street, but never heard anyone stop. She claims when she got home, the sergeant cursed at her, using racist language.

"He said, 'Give me your other hand, you (expletive)'. Then he said, 'Oh no, that's right. You're a judge'," said Walker.

The sheriff's office claims none of the officers on the scene knew who Walker was at the time, much less identify her as a person suing the sheriff's department. They say they were simply trying to protect an active crime scene. Walker, however, doesn't buy that one bit.

"They even gave each other a 'thumbs up' and mouthed the words, 'We got her'," said Walker. "It's pure retaliation."

Walker says she will fight the allegations against her.

Judge Walker is one of five plaintiffs involved in a civil lawsuit against the Harris County Sheriff's Department. Sean and Erik Ibarra, who have already won nearly$2 million from the county, are suing the department again for civil rights violations. They joined the lawsuit after Eyewitness News discovered the sheriff's department was conducting secret surveillance on them during their original lawsuit. The revelation led to several lawmakers condemning the department.

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate the sheriff's office. The request came after 13 Undercover found racist and political messages sent on county computers.

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