Hennepin County Judge Lloyd Zimmerman: Gun violence a possibility at local courts

Categories: Law
ZimmermanOfficial.jpg
Judge Zimmerman: worried about being shot in Hennepin County courtrooms.
A Hennepin County judge is worried could be "carried out in a body bag" when hearing cases at Brookdale, so he's refusing to hear cases there anymore.

It appears Judge Lloyd Zimmerman's strategy has paid dividends, at least for him. His act of civil disobedience resulted in him being reassigned to hear cases in more secure courtrooms.

According to the Minnesota Lawyer, Zimmerman's request was spurred by last month's shooting in a metal detector-free Grand Marais courtroom. In that incident, Daniel Schlienz, who had just been convicted of a sex crime, left a conference-room meeting with his lawyer and then opened fire on the prosecuting attorney and a witness. Both lived, though Schlienz died in jail under mysterious circumstances less than two weeks later.

Zimmerman was apparently worried he might suffer the same fate as the Grand Marais shooting victims. In an e-mail sent to the judicial branch last week, he wrote that he's "tired of driving to Bookdale, the courtroom everyone who knows agrees is the most likely place for a shooting or violence to occur, and not know whether I will be carried out in a body bag that day." He said he wouldn't hear cases in Brookdale, Southdale, or Ridgedale until metal detectors were installed to screen visitors for weapons.

In response, a Hennepin County representative yesterday told CBS that Zimmerman has been reassigned to Family Court. Family cases are held at the Family Justice Center, and all people undergo weapons screening when entering the courtroom. 

CBS reports that Hennepin County is considering a $77,000, 16-week study to assess security needs at courtrooms. The study could recommend metal detectors at all courtrooms or the relocation of volatile domestic cases to the Government Center downtown.

In the meantime, judges and attorneys will be left wondering if they're in the crosshairs while in some Hennepin County courtrooms.

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Krybbu
Krybbu

I fully sympathize with Judge.  Criminals tend to take their frustration on law enforcement, rather than legislature that makes these laws.

With present government spending reported $700 Bil to bail-out Detroit failures and please omnipotent unions, what's estimated 1 Mil to protect public and law enforcement? 

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

How many times has violence actually broken out in the Brookdale, Southdale, and Ridgedale courts?

Aaron Rupar
Aaron Rupar

To my knowledge, none -- but you could've said the same thing about Grand Marais prior to last month's shooting.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

Yes, but that's just standard fear-mongering. "Something bad will happen unless we put policies in place that didn't exist when very little bad stuff actually happened." Huge, systemic changes aren't justified by rare occurences.

So, if you're right, this judge is using very little to no precedence to justify his fear that he's gonna get shot or attacked while presiding over a case. Why did he only choose those three courts? Are those the only Metro area facilities?

Franky
Franky

Hell, I'm more worried about being run down in the HC Govt parking lots by shitty drivers.

Maybe the judge can hire people to valet park citizens cars. I mean, really, if it saves just one life it is worth it, right?

Conservativo
Conservativo

Metal detector costs like $3k, lol they could've bought and installed them with that money.  

Research
Research

When they put up the two security entrances in the Hennepin County building, the cost was huge.  I can't find the figure but remember being curious to why these metal detectors were as much as they said.  It's because of a 16wk study followed by another study with another nother study.  Over 500k is spent before the detectors are bought.

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