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"I don't think you want to say a word to me, Mr. Smith."
A Tennessee judge's tough, no-nonsense courtroom rebuke of a known gang member has become one of the most viewed Facebook videos ever for the local NBC affiliate in Chattanooga.
And when you watch it, you'll likely see why.
Judge Lila Statom directed some tough words at 20-year-old O'Shae Smith, reportedly a member of the Gangster Disciples, when he stood before her last Thursday.
Smith was arrested on attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment charges in the non-fatal shooting of Kendre Allen, 18, a member of a rival gang.
Police believe that Smith was angry that a rival gang member was "in his hood."
In the courtroom last week, Statom had some harsh words of rebuke for Smith, whose case has gone to the grand jury, WRCB-TV reported.
"Sir, East Lake Courts is not your hood. It's the citizens of the United States who own that because they work and pay taxes. You don't own that," she said. "People like you have made it a violent, unsafe place to live."
And she wasn't done there.
"Hopefully we will be able to make it the place that it used to be back when it was originally built for people who did not have anywhere else to live to make it a safe place," Statom said, concluding with a warning. "I don't think you want to say a word to me, Mr. Smith."
Watch her comments below:
Statom later sat down with WRCB-TV to explain why she issued the tough rebuke.
"I didn't want to allow him to take control over a courtroom when I felt he had maybe taken control over an area of town," she said. "He needed to at least see that he was not in control everywhere."
The judge, who said she's surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to her words, said that she is upset that the community has been negatively impacted by gang violence and crime.
"It's unfair that anyone has to live among this violence," Statom told WRCB-TV. "Especially when most of the violent people don't live in that community."
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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