Two colleagues getting into it in a parking lot at work is hardly earth-shattering. I know I've personally flipped off at least a dozen co-workers at some point in my life. Who am I kidding? I was in the Army for 7 years, its probably more like a hundred.
The very obvious difference is that Judges Ricardo Herrera and Patrick Garcia are not a couple of GI's in the field arguing over who is going to pull the next shift of guard duty.
They are members of the judiciary, a profession that commands a particular amount of respect and reverence. There are strict rules and a certain decorum expected in a courtroom. For God sakes, you're supposed to stand when a judge enters and exits the courtroom.
But if you read the article in the El Paso Times, that apparently was thrown out of the window one particular afternoon at the courthouse. The Times reports that the incident occurred around lunchtime in the parking lot at the courthouse. Herrera was with a couple of other judges he pals around with along with Mike Izquierdo, the administrator for the Council of Judges.
I'll cut to the chase here, the ones that look bad in this story are Judge Garcia and Izquierdo. Apparently Garcia was upset about Herrera allegedly busting a plea deal for a case in Garcia's court, but doesn't say how that happened. Garcia was allegedly pissed and there was an altercation that ended in Garcia allegedly giving Herrera the ol' one-finger salute to Judge Herrera in front of Herrera's colleagues and Izquirdo.
Frankly it shows a lot of character and backbone on the part of Herrera to take the issue to the authorities. The easy thing to do was to blow it off or flip him off back or drop a few expletives. Instead Herrera showed the restraint and clear-thinking that one would expect from someone in a robe and handled the incident the right way.
If things went down the way they are reported to have, then its one of those stories that makes El Paso look like a joke. And lets reflect on what flipping the bird to someone means. It certainly isn't something nice. So if one judge disrespects a judge, why should anyone? At least thats the message I hear.
And Mike Izqueirdo's quote... what. the. hell?
He allegedly didn't give a report to authorities because he "did not witness a criminal act". Since when is a report based on you witnessing a criminal act? The report to authorities is what you witnessed go down, not whether or not it was criminal. You either saw what happened or you didn't.
But for those of you that lack context, Garcia was pretty much Izquierdo's boss for several years while he was the head of the council of judges.
You put that one together people.