In yet another example of racial bias in the justice system, a court allowed a vicious white racist to walk free on bail while scores of nonviolent Black suspects continued to be held behind bars without the opportunity to post bond for much less severe charges.
“Maxim Smith, the bigot that assaulted a black man in DC with a metal U-lock has been released from jail and is on house arrest pending trial,” S. Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the victim, Ketchazo Paho, tweeted Thursday.
Meanwhile, criminal justice reform advocates were waging legal battles to end a system that makes it disproportionately difficult for Black people—even those accused of nonviolent crimes—to get out of jail to prepare for their cases.
Paho, 34, blew his car horn Monday on Smith, who stopped his bicycle in the middle of a road in the Georgetown neighborhood of Northwest Washington, according to reports. Smith, 24, struck Paho’s vehicle with a bicycle lock as he drove by the cyclist. They got into a verbal altercation after Paho pulled over and called 911.
During their exchange of words, Smith repeatedly yelled racial slurs, including the N-word. Smith bashed Paho with a bike lock, causing a deep, bloody gash in the African immigrant’s head that required multiple stitches.
The Metropolitan Police Department charged Smith with assault, and was investigating to determine whether to charge him with a hate crime, as if there’s any question what motivated the assault.
One of the reasons to deny bail is to protect the public from a dangerous suspect. This would be a good time to keep Smith behind bars, as violent white supremacists were set gather in the nation’s capital to hold a rally this weekend.