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Broward inmates to be cuffed in hearings after lawyer hit

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Posted at 8:56 AM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 08:56:26-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff says inmates will be handcuffed during magistrate hearings after a public defender was punched in the head during a closed circuit jailhouse bond court session.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony pointed blame for "lax security" at the public defender's office in a Wednesday evening statement, saying that agency felt handcuffs suggested a defendant was guilty.

Courtroom video captured 27-year-old William Green approaching Public Defender Julie Chase on Wednesday morning and hitting her as she assisted a client.

Gordon Weeks of the public defender's office called the attack preventable. He said Green appeared to be in a "clear psychotic state" and had been arrested on charges of battering a technician at a mental hospital.

He said it's unacceptable for lawyers to "take the brunt of the failures of law enforcement."