ATLANTA - A judge is firing back after Atlanta police blasted the court for letting a young criminal back on the streets.
Judge Brad Boyd says he's getting threats after an Atlanta police Facebook post called him out for releasing a young criminal on an ankle monitor.
Boyd became emotional talking to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne about the resources needed to change lives and protect communities.
“Across the whole system, we need to care. We need to care about children, and we need to care about families,” Boyd said.
Even though the Atlanta police Facebook post about the case did not name Boyd, a resulting newspaper story did -- and he's been ripped in Facebook comments ever since.
"My wife reads this. She's at home alone while I’m at work. She is very frightened. She’s walking around the house with a gun," he said.
"I think we’ve put judges in an uncomfortable position when we’re asking them to be accountable," Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said.
Shields said the Atlanta Police Department was fed up and so officials posted on Facebook. The post suggests a 16-year-old who pleaded guilty to gang, theft and car break-in charge was then arrested on another break-in and was released the next day to his sister with an ankle monitor.
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"I want us to get a handle on crime, but I have got to get my criminal justice partners to step up," Shields said.
But Boyd said the controversy should shine a light on the resources the seven Fulton juvenile court judges and others in the juvenile system across the state have to try to change lives and try to protect the lives and property of the innocent.
"Are the resources there in Georgia to make the system work?" Winne asked Boyd.
"No, not fully," Boyd responded.
"Why isn’t a business plan being presented to the state of what would work?" Shields said.
Boyd said he started at juvenile court as a probation officer trainee 46 years ago, and he said the gang crisis and juvenile crime crisis are worse than ever before because of the deterioration of the family due to drugs and more.
In the case sparking controversy, the judge says the public hasn’t heard the whole story.
"It was offered to me as an agreement that they made that he had pleaded to these offenses, and as a result of that, the sentence would be the one that I imposed," Boyd said.
Boyd said the assistant district attorney and public defender on the 16-year-old's case both recommended two years' probation and said the boy is on a special form of probation that involves daily phone contact and a minimum of four face-to-face contacts with his probation officer during a week, plus the ankle monitor.
The DA's office says the prosecutor asked that the juvenile remain detained until his additional case was adjudicated in September.
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