A West Virginia Circuit Court judge was suspended for six months without pay, among other sanctions, by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals over a traffic stop during which he identified himself as a judge, called the police officer’s supervisors and made coercive and retaliatory statements.

C. Carter Williams, a circuit court judge elected in the Twenty-Second Judicial District in West Virginia, was involved in a traffic stop in July 2021, according to the opinion delivered by Chief Justice Elizabeth D. Walker in the Supreme Court of Appeals. While driving home from an ice cream shop, Williams was handling his dropped cellphone while driving, according to the opinion. Officer Deavonta Johnson observed Williams with his phone in his hand and initiated a traffic stop, which was recorded on bodycam footage. Williams was visibly agitated as he attempted to explain to Johnson that he was holding the phone but not using it.

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