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Chairman Of Black Political Empowerment Project Says Pittsburgh Judge Mark Tranquilli Should Be Relieved Of Duties

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Tim Stevens of the Black Political Empowerment Project says he has seen enough.

Uncovered transcripts of other cases are raising more concerns about the Pittsburgh judge who is accused of calling a black juror "Aunt Jemima."

"There appears to be a definitive attitude and perception that he has for black people," Stevens said.


In the newly obtained transcripts, Tranquilli told a black woman defendant, "If you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas," saying the fathers of her two children should have worn condoms.

"And for the cost of three shiny quarters in any bathroom in any rest stop in Pennsylvania, you probably could have gone in a different direction," the transcript reads.

In another case, Tranquilli told a young black man he should not have children.

"No judge should be in a position to tell someone they shouldn't have a child," chairman Stevens said. "They can have an opinion, but they shouldn't be sharing it from the bench. They shouldn't be deciding who should wear a condom and when," Stevens said.

Tranquilli told the woman that his years as a prosecutor in the District Attorney's Homicide Division have given him a "low tolerance" for misbehavior.

"As a result of these experiences, there is no milk of human kindness left in these veins," Tranquilli said.

And in telling another black defendant not to violate probation, he quoted the sadistic warden in the film Shawshank Redemption.

"So if you don't show up in 30 days, you have violated my probation, and I'm going to cast you down amongst the sodomites, all right, in state prison. All right?" Tranquilli said.

Stevens is calling for implicit racial bias training for judges and prosecutors and the appointment of more black judges to the bench. He said Tranquilli should be relieved of all duties.

"He should not be making any decision for anybody," Stevens said.

KDKA's Andy Sheehan learned that earlier this month that Tranquilli was re-assigned after he made the alleged "Aunt Jemima" remark in January 2020.

In the closed-door meeting with a defense attorney and an assistant district attorney, Tranquilli is quoted as calling the black woman juror "Aunt Jemima" and musing about her having a drug-dealing "baby daddy" at home.

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