By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
Activist Zakiyyah S. Muhammad late Monday night urged African Americans to attend the trial of Judge Arnette R. Hubbard, who was twice spat on, slapped and called “Rosa Parks” by a white North Side businessman who became irate when she started smoking as he stood outside of the Daley Center.
The trial is 10:00 a.m. today, Tuesday, August 2, at the Cook County Criminal Court Building at 26th and California.
Hubbard, then 79 years old, was attacked by David C. Nicosia, 55 at the time, a white North Side businessman in July of 2014. A stunned Hubbard, who is considered an icon in the Black community, called for help as she followed her attacker, but before police arrested him, Nicosia allegedly slapped and spit on her again.
Nicosia, who owns an IT company, was charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime and held on a $90,000 bond by Judge James Brown who reportedly called him a “threat” and a “danger to the community.”
Hubbard, who graduated from the John Marshall Law School in 1969, was the first woman president of the National Bar Association in 1981 and from 1985 to 1989 she was a commissioner for the Chicago Cable Commission. She was also a board member for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and the first Black president of the Association of Election Commissioners of Illinois. Hubbard was also the first woman president of the Cook County Bar Association. Civil rights criminal attorney Standish Willis said, “What happened to her was uncalled for. I can’t imagine a man hitting a woman and especially a judge. I hope he is sent to prison.
“If he were a 55-year-old Black hitting a white judge, he would be going away for a long time. I want the judge to lock him up and throw away the key and never found again. Judge Hubbard is precious,” said Willis.
Muhammad said, “I am glad that the judge has a court date. There have been so many continuances because this has been going on for over a year. It’s time for the trial, and I’m hoping to seek justice.”
Muhammad has requested that this trial be taped by the media for public airing thanks to a new pilot program by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.
“The people need to see how this so-called justice system works when it comes to African Americans. They need to see how juries conduct themselves, as well as the prosecutors and defense attorneys including the young activists who are also seeking justice,” she said.
“I am not going to stop requesting that the media video tape. I will ask others to join in,” said Muhammad explaining her request for the media to cover this trial has not been granted. “I’m not going to give up,” she said. “I want the public to see if Judge Hubbard will get the justice she so deserves.”
When contacted, civil rights activist Attorney Lewis Myers said, “I think it was not only extraordinarily disrespectful what he did, but I have every reason to believe it had something to do with her race. As a Black lawyer, I was offended by what happened to her and I believe that justice will be served.”