New Rules Added After Broward Inmate Assults Lawyer

New procedures are in place in south Florida courtrooms after a public defender was punched in the head.

Effective immediately, all inmates will be handcuffed during hearings. The chairs in the Broward Main Jail’s courtroom were also rearranged to make it more difficult for anyone to approach an attorney or detention deputy from behind.

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

Footage of the incident that went viral shows William Green approaching Public Defender Julie Chase as she assisted a client. Prosecutors charged the 27-year-old with battery for hitting Chase.

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.

"It is unacceptable for lawyers to "take the brunt of the failures of law enforcement," said Weeks.

Photo courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff's Office

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