Judges asked for the emptying of trash cans and removal of homeless tents near the building. One of the most curious objections came from Council member Larry Gossett who reportedly “said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”
That would seem to bar any power washing of government buildings.
The controversy however raises another more compelling issue. If the judges are correct and staff and jurors fear coming to the building, such fears can have a distortive effect on cases and judgments. Jurors who are fearful of being attacked at a courthouse may be more inclined or responsive to prosecutorial arguments. Many prosecutors emphasize law-and-order themes in cases are that more likely to resonate with jurors who must run a gauntlet to enter the courthouse.