Ohio Supreme Court Investigates Prosecutor for Tweets Ridiculing Defendants

Tim Tolka
5 min readMay 31, 2020

The Assistant Prosecutor of Trumbull County regularly tweeted pictures of the orange-clad defendants before him, making fun of their fashion choices and calling them whackos, turkeys, fools, clowns, jokers, unwashed and dirty creatures, and terrible people. I wrote an article about the tweets, which displayed the prosecutor’s many biases and jaded perspective on his job in the “involuntary relocation business.”

In response to the article, Chris Becker deleted his Twitter account, which identified him as a prosecutor in his bio.

Expecting this, I had already made screenshots of all his spiteful tweets, and I happily supplied them to the local media and civil rights leaders. In comments defending his assistant, the Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins told the local Tribune Chronicle newspaper:

“I judge my folks on the total picture of what we do… Nothing that I have seen leads me to believe anything Mr. Becker said has harmed any case.”

Really? The oath of a prosecutor emphasizes treating others with respect and civility. We’re gonna take a closer look and see how Becker’s tweets reflect on local and national justice.

The response of locals defending their beloved, bigoted prosecutor left me wondering if prosecutors have the blessing of state supreme courts to post pictures of defendants publicly as they sit in chains, expecting the presumption of innocence in America’s vaunted courts. As such, I filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary counsel, which verified in an email that they are investigating the 30 tweets I provided.

ADA Chris Becker’s Twitter account gave a glimpse inside his head, just like the account of a man Becker frequently complimented, President Donald Trump. For example, Mr. Becker believes that U.S. prisons are just great, the only problem is the inmates, who act like animals on the outside, and deserve to be caged, as he eloquently explains below.

Mr. Becker is not a fan of transgendered people, who he calls “trans-mammals” and for whom he reserved his most vile comments.

Some of Mr. Becker’s more colorful comments were inspired by viral videos and media coverage that caught his eye. For example, when he saw a video recorded in a fast food restaurant where several African Americans got into a brawl, he expressed his view that the people were a “bunch of animals that need locked up.” That pretty much sums up Mr. Becker’s perspective on petty crime.

Mr. Becker’s defense of these comments was to attack me for taking the comments out of context, but as the reader can easily surmise, the context is quite clear and requires no exaggeration to illustrate Mr. Becker’s vindictive and jaundiced view of many people who are accused of crimes.

Mr. Becker didn’t shy away from pointing out the problems with the criminal justice system, as he sees them.

Yes, the problem is not prosecutors and judges who seek to imprison African Americans for longer than they do for white defendants. The problem is these liberal judges who sympathize with police brutality victims and defense lawyers attempting to defend the rights of the accused.

Mr. Becker does not suffer the defense of rights when it comes to police power. In fact, upon seeing a video of a cop hitting a female protester, Mr. Becker helps us understand what is right and what is wrong.

If you’re not willing to take a billy club to the face like a man, you shouldn’t be questioning police use-of-force, Mr. Becker wisely suggests. It was notable that at the time of the tweet, the assistant prosecutor was overseeing a highly controversial police shooting, which invariably exonerated the cops of murder after they killed an unarmed man who posed no threat. Everybody knew what conclusion Becker would reach, considering his often expressed views of police and anybody who would question them:

Mr. Becker knows exactly what the black community needs to do. Shut the fuck up and take what’s coming to you. Looking at the man’s tweets, you would think he hates his job, but you’d be wrong. He loves his job; he hates the human refuse he has to look at in the courtroom.

However, Mr. Becker knows that somebody has to cart these creatures off to prison, which Becker does with joyful aplomb.

It is a shame he deleted his account. Mr. Becker often gave helpful public service announcements.

Mr. Becker also bemoaned the lack of hygiene and sanitation displayed by some defendants.

This was not a problem with the local jail. Mr. Becker seems to imply it was a choice by the defendants.

Mr. Becker wanted us to see the world through his eyes and laugh with him at these pathetic criminals, who he would soon “help” relocate.

Thank you for your service, Assistant Prosecutor Becker. Your tweets will be missed. Let’s see if the Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary counsel agrees that these fervent expressions of your heart show the due respect and civility appropriate for a court officer. The email confirming the investigation by the disciplinary counsel is below.

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Tim Tolka

Author, screenwriter, and journalist. Author of Blue Mafia. IL, LA, CO, TX, FL, VA, NYC, DC, and SF. https://www.timtolka.com/