Clark County District Judge Darvin Zimmerman was exposed over the weekend for comments he made without realizing that the video camera in his courtroom was recording and livestreaming after a hearing had ended last Tuesday. In the video (embedded below) Judge Zimmerman can be heard talking to District Court Commissioner Abigail Bartlett about the shooting of Kevin Peterson Junior. Peterson was shot and killed in Hazel Dell last year by a drug task force that Judge Zimmerman's son, Clark County Sheriff's Sgt. Erik Zimmerman, was a member of. Sgt. Zimmerman was working surveillance, so we know that he did not fire the fatal shot. While working surveillance he must have noticed that Peterson Jr. was running away from fellow deputies when he was shot (see video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HrPI9d0Eu0). Shooting someone in the back as they are running away is never justified. It does not matter if he ignored requests from officers that he stop running because running away is not a hostile act. The entire drug task force including Sgt. Zimmerman have some serious explaining to do, but the hope that they will be held accountable fades when people learn what kinds of people are in charge of holding them accountable. People like judges in Clark County including Deputy Zimmerman's father.
What did Judge Zimmerman say that was so bad? He said several things, as the video below shows. First, he refers to Peterson Jr. as "the Black guy they are trying to make an angel out of." Then he talks about how fortunate his son was to have been promoted to sergeant before the shooting because as a sergeant he was able to work surveillance duty and not participate in efforts to apprehend Peterson directly. His exact words were "luckily he got the promotion to sergeant because he could have been the shooter, then they would be marching out at his house with, you know, the signs saying you're a murderer and all that bullshit." Then he attacks Peterson's father for supposedly trying to profit off he son's death. Judge Zimmerman said in reference to Kevin Peterson Sr. "The next day he wakes up with dollar signs in his eyes and George Floyd's attorneys." He goes on complaining about Peterson Sr. setting up a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/kevin-peterson-jr) and claiming on that page that his son was murdered by the police, which he was, but according to Judge Zimmerman the money raised by Peterson Sr. ($61,000) was all raised under false pretenses. Then he attacks Peterson Jr. for being "dumb" for thinking that he would go to prison for such a small amount of drugs. That comment appears to be willful ignorance of the fact that black males then to be disproportionately targeted by narcs and excessively sentenced for small amounts of drugs. He then describes a false narrative of Peterson getting shot 30 times in the back by admitting the Peterson was shot once in the back. Zimmerman follows that key admission with a token effort to make himself look like he is not racist by describing the time he volunteered at a black community center decades ago, "I was their token white guy."
Judge Zimmerman's comments speak volumes about the state of the criminal injustice system in America today where the Thin Blue Line is always one big family consisting of judges, prosecutors, police officers, and others. How can a court remain an objective third party when its members have immediate family members working with local law enforcement? They will probably say that they recuse themselves whenever a case involving a family member comes before them, but what effect does that have on the next judge? The next judge surely knows the last one and enjoys what is at least a positive professional relationship if not a personal friendship with that judge. Could the next judge really be trusted to disregard their feelings for their fellow judges and their families when deciding a case? Of course not. On top of that the next judge is likely to have members of their own family working in law enforcement somewhere. They all consider themselves part of the Thin Blue Line family. That is why the American court system can never be relied on to return a just verdict when hearing accusations against members of the Thin Blue Line family. Cases such as this one where a local judge's son is involved must be scrutinized to the fullest by the public because otherwise the incentive to dispose of it quickly and quietly is too great. Court officers must be made to fear greater consequences, such as the inconvenience of protests, should they choose not to serve justice in cases such as this one. That is why people must protest by "marching out at [their] house[s] with, you know, the signs saying [they]'re  murderer[s] and all that [good] shit."
According to public records, Darvin John Zimmerman is 70 years old and has lived in Vancouver, Washington since at least the the late 1970s when he registered to vote as a Vancouver resident in 1979. His bar number is 6829 and he has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1976. He is not currently eligible to practice law, but still has judicial status. His Clark County email address is darvin.zimmerman[at]clark.wa.gov and the Hotmail account darvin.zimmerman[at]hotmail.com appears to have been linked to him. If still active those might be a good places to send your resignation requests. Due to his extreme old age he will probably retire in the near future no matter what.