how does it feel?

After receiving the case, he turned to a mentor, Judge Sterling Johnson Jr., for guidance. As they discussed the underlying issues he posed the startling question of “how does it feel” to Judge Johnson. An officer with the New York Police Department as a young man, Judge Johnson, 78, described to his colleague what it was like to serve in the department before it was fully integrated — how, for example, he was prohibited from riding in squad cars with white officers. Judge Garaufis, he realized, was trying to understand something deeper than the normal legal issues.

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