A female attorney was recently jailed in Youngstown, Ohio for refusing to remove a Black Lives Matter pin in the courtroom.
According to WKBN, Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich ruled attorney Andrea Burton was in contempt of court for refusing his orders to remove her Black Lives Matter pin while in court. Burton was sentenced to five days in jail for disobeying the judge’s order, but has since been released on a stay while her own attorneys appeal the decision. She can continue to stay out of jail as long as she doesn’t wear the pin in court.
“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,” community activist and attorney Kim Akins told WKBN.
Milich cited a previous Supreme Court case prohibiting political speech in the courtroom as precedent for asking Burton to remove her pin.
“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,” Milich said. “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.”
The Youngstown branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has said it is monitoring Burton’s case closely, as the judge’s decision to find her in contempt of court may be a violation of Burton’s civil rights.
“We will do all that the NAACP Youngstown can do to ensure that Attorney Burton’s Constitutional rights are not being violated,” said Youngstown NAACP president George Freeman in a public statement.
Burton and her attorney have not yet publicly commented on the case.
AFRICANGLOBE By: Zach Cartwright