attorney andrea burton was ordered by municipal court judge robert milich on friday to remove the black lives matter pin she wore in the courtroom while representing a client at a pre-trial hearing in youngstown, ohio. burton was handcuffed by bailiffs when she refused to comply.
milich recessed the court and asked burton to join him in his chambers. when they stepped back out, he called the case she was working on and asked her to remove the pin. burton was sentenced to five days in jail, and has been released on a stay while an appeal is underway.
"there's a difference between a flag, a pin from your church or the eagles and have a pin that's on a political issue," milich told wkbn. burton argued her first amendment rights overrule the supreme case law - and milich's discretion - and refused his instructions: she didn't want to remain "neutral to injustice, to remain neutral becomes an accomplice to oppression."
burton said, "it's an act of civil disobedience, i understand that. i'm not anti-police, i work with law enforcement and i hold them in the highest regard, and just to say for the record, i do believe all lives matter. but at this point they don't all matter equally, and that's the problem in the justice system."
the local naacp chapter told wfmj they are monitoring burton's case. they also said the attorney's civil rights may have been violated. burton's sentence will be taken to an appeals court.
the judge is white. the lawyer is black.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.