Judge refusing cases in courtrooms he deems unsafe

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A judge in the Twin Cities is refusing to hear cases at suburban courtrooms in Hennepin County that he believes are unsafe because of a lack of weapons screening.

District Judge Lloyd Zimmerman’s ultimatum comes after a Dec. 15 shooting critically injured a prosecutor and witness at the Cook County Courthouse in the northern Minnesota community of Grand Marais.

The 57-year-old Zimmerman is one of 12 judges who rotate one week per month at suburban courtrooms in Brooklyn Center, Edina and Minnetonka. In an email to his fellow judges Wednesday, Zimmerman says he doesn’t want to go into a suburban courtroom and not know whether he “will be carried out in a body bag that day.”

The Star Tribune says court administrators are scrambling to find replacement judges for hundreds of Zimmerman’s suburban cases.