Cop Shoots Defendant in Alabama Courtroom

Police say he attacked judge, but witnesses disagree
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2011 3:20 PM CST
Alabama state Trooper Chad Joiner talks with a crowd gathered across the street from Goodwater City Hall where a shooting occurred, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in Goodwater, Ala.   (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Joe Songer)
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(Newser) – A police officer shot and wounded a man who was in court on a harassment charge today after authorities say he attacked a judge and tried to grab a gun from a spectator. Some people who were in the courtroom disputed that account, saying they did not see the man hit or threaten the judge or attempt to grab a weapon. Sara Williams said she was sitting in the front row when the man, whom she knew, got agitated after the judge fined him $800. He was wearing a cast on his leg and waved one of his crutches in the air.

"The police were hollering for him to get down" when an officer opened fire, she said. Williams said she yelled, "Don't shoot him no more!" right before the officer fired again. Afterward, she and more than a dozen people stood across the street from City Hall chanting, "We want justice." Witnesses identified the man who was shot as Bryant Keith Ford of Goodwater.

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