A stabbing suspect refused a judge’s offer of a public defender for the most bigoted reason imaginable: the public defender was of a darker hue than he prefers.
On Thursday, 51-year-old Thomas Thorpe channeled his inner Klansman when standing before a judge in his first court appearance to answer charges of attempted first degree murder with a weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, robbery, and carrying a concealed weapon. Thorpe is accused of stabbing another passenger as they exited a Lynx bus in South Orlando on Wednesday.
“Do you understand what an attorney is and what they do?” asked the judge, prompting Thorpe to respond, “Yes, they screwed us.” Thorpe said he wanted to enter a plea without the assistance of the African-American gentleman who had been appointed to represent him.
“I said not guilty — I pleaded not guilty and I don’t want this negro standing next to me,” Thorpe told the judge. “I don’t want a negro standing next to me.” In case he was not heard properly, he added, “I don’t want a negro standing next to me.”
Witnesses say that nothing unusual occurred on the bus, and the two men did not appear to be fighting before the attack. Thorpe was stopped by the rare appearance of an actual “good guy with a gun.” The concealed carrier witnessed the crime and held Thorpe in place until police arrived.
“As I was getting out, I noticed the guy had a knife in his hand so I went for my gun and took him down,” Jeffrey Hopkins said. “He looked at me very scared. Then realized I was serious and dropped the knife and laid down immediately.”
Thorpe could be sentenced to life in prison if he is found guilty.
Watch this “not-racist” unleash a bigoted rant, below: