Blog

Ohio Attorney Faces Jail Time for Refusing to Remove Black Lives Matter Button


July 24, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ July News



A Youngstown Municipal Court judge sentenced Atty. Andrea Burton to 5 days in jail, but the decision is being appealed.

What country do we live in again?

Youngstown, Ohio, attorney Andrea Burton was removed from court and taken into custody after a judge declared her in contempt for refusing to take off a Black Lives Matter pin.

WKBN reports that Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich said Burton was in contempt of court for refusing to remove the button in his courtroom after he asked her to do so at an earlier date. Burton was sentenced to five days in jail, but she has been released on a stay to appeal.

Burton will not be in jail during the appeals process “as she obeys Milich’s order not to wear items that make a political statement in court,” according to WKBN.

Milich said his opinions, biases or feelings have nothing to do with his decision.

“A judge is objective and tries to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have a fair hearing, and it was a situation where it was just in violation of the law,” he said. The judge said his ruling is based on Supreme Court case law.

Although Burton through her attorney have not commented on the case, activist and attorney Kim Akins spoke to WKBN. “No one wearing an American flag would be removed, no one wearing a crucifix or star of David would be removed, so why does this particular subject bother [the judge] so much?” Akins asks.

Burton says the difference between a flag and a Black Lives Matter button is that the pin is a “political issue.”

The Youngstown branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released a statement on Friday (PDF).

“We will do all that the NAACP Youngstown can do to ensure that Attorney Burton’s Constitutional rights are not being violated,” said president George Freeman Jr.

[source more at WKBN-TV.]