KTWX reports that Claudia Brown, the first African American Female Justice Of The Peace in Bell County, died Tuesday.

Brown, a former social worker and teacher, attracted national attention by setting a billion-dollar bail for a murder suspect back in February 2017 as Bell County Justice Of The Peace.

Reportedly, her intent was to underscore the need for bond reform.

She told KWTX:

“I set it as high as I could to illustrate the fact that it’s ridiculous how we are railroading people without them even having their constitutional rights to a fair trial to determine if they are guilty or innocent,”

She also raised eyebrows when she arraigned her own son after he was arrested for DWI and signed the arrest affidavit to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Brown was then issued a reprimand from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, both for the billion-dollar bail and for not disqualifying herself from her son's case.

She ran for Killeen Council 4 times, losing twice and winning twice.

Sadly, after a petition was filed to remove Brown from office in 2017, stating she was unfit to hold office, she was removed in February of 2019, the first time that happened in over 30 years.

Facebook condolences described Brown as a fighter and an amazing woman.

And she did not stop fighting as she appealed the decision.

Back in March of 2019, she told KWTX:

“Rosa Parks, would she have gotten out of that bus seat or would she have just sat there? She said she was just too tired of all the Jim Crow laws. She was not getting out that seat. So, Judge Brown may have lost her seat as a judge, but my message is very, very clear: it’s not fair what we’re doing to people,” 

She was 81.


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