A black attorney wearing a Black Lives Matter pin was sentenced to five days of jail, more than most cops who have wrongfully killed black people will ever face.
This past weekend, an attorney in Ohio,?Andrea Burton, was found to be in contempt of court by?Judge Robert Milich when she refused to remove her Black Lives Matter pin while in court.
The black attorney from Youngstown, Ohio was sentenced to five days in jail after she disobeyed the judge’s order to take the pin off, which is more than the majority of cops receive when they have wrongfully killed a person of color while on the job.
Burton has since been released while the attorneys representing her appeal the decision. A community activist in favor of Burton’s decision to keep the pin on and fellow attorney Kim Akins said this:
“No one wearing an American flag button, no one wearing a crucifix or a Star of David would be removed, so why this particular statement bothered him so much is bothersome.”
When confronted with why Judge Milich felt it was justified to determine that pin-wearing was in contempt of court, he cited a Supreme Court decision in which political speech was prohibited in the courtroom. Since the Black Lives Matter movement was considered political by the judge, he asked her to remove the pin to eliminate the evidence of her bias, even if it didn’t pertain to the case at hand.
?A judge doesn?t support either side. 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 a violation of the law.?There?s a difference between a flag, a pin from your church or the Eagles and having a pin that?s on a political issue.?
Though Milich had a legitimate concern regarding the nature of the pin, Burton reportedly wore the pin without issue in the two days before this incident. It wasn’t until the opposing counsel complained to the judge that Milich asked Burton to remove it.
The NAACP branch for Youngstown is looking into Burton’s case to determine whether her civil rights were violated. Since it technically infringed on Burton’s right to freedom of speech, it could be that the judge was too hasty in deciding that the pin was political enough for the attorney to be arrested.
Andrea Burton and her attorney have yet to make an official statement on the matter.
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