Brooklyn Crockton, a third-year law student at the Roger Williams University School of Law, posted a TikTok video where she says a white sheriff’s deputy mistook her for a defendant when she tried to enter a courtroom.
Crockton, who was present to represent a client as part of the school’s criminal defense clinic, spoke about the experience and soon after it happened it gained more than 341,000 views and more than 3,000 comments from people reporting similar situations everywhere from the United Kingdom to Texas.
Under Rhode Island Supreme Court Rule 9, law students are students are allowed to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases in state District Court under the supervision of a licensed attorney on the RWU Law faculty.
Last Thursday, Crockton lined up with other attorneys at the Garrahy Judical Complex in Providence, preparing to enter a courtroom to represent a client in a misdemeanor case. But she said a sheriff’s deputy, who provides security for the court, placed “his body between me and the door” and asked her to step aside.
Multiple other attorneys were then allowed to enter, after which the deputy asked Brooklyn Crockton her name and told her that he didn’t see it on the docket. She said he asked her: “Are you sure you are in the right courtroom? Are you the defendant?”