Texas judge reprimanded for showing handgun during argument

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A Texas justice of the peace has received a public reprimand for showing his gun in an argument over his driving speed.

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct reprimanded Judge Billy Williams of San Augustine County, Texas. reported on the Sept. 8 reprimand.

Williams displayed his gun twice while interacting with a man who thought Williams was driving too fast in front of his home, according to findings of fact cited in the reprimand. The interactions took place at the end of the driveway of the man, Matthew Cannon.

During the first confrontation, Cannon approached Williams’ car and saw Williams holding his gun in the palm of his hand against the steering wheel, the reprimand said. Cannon asked Williams to slow down, and Williams said he would be back.

Williams returned 10 minutes later, exited his vehicle, and engaged in a heated exchange with Cannon, according to the reprimand. Williams asked Cannon what he needed, and Cannon said he was concerned about the judge’s driving and the safety of his 12-year-old son.

Williams said he was responding to an emergency, and Cannon asked whether he was a cop. At first, Williams said he was an officer, then “immediately” corrected himself and said he was a judge, according to Williams’ testimony before the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.

During the exchange, Cannon said he objected to Williams brandishing his gun in the earlier interaction. Williams allegedly took his handgun from his pocket and asked, “Is this what you are talking about?”

Cannon had acknowledged to the commission that showing the gun violated the law on concealed weapons, the reprimand said.

The commission concluded that Williams should be reprimanded for casting public discredit on the judiciary and failing to comply with the law.

Williams’ office told the ABA Journal that he has no comment.

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