Ohio lawyer may spend five days in jail for wearing a Black Lives Matter pin

A northern Ohio attorney could serve five days in jail, pending an appeal, after a municipal judge held her in contempt of court for wearing a Black Lives Matter pin.
While representing a client in court on Friday, attorney Andrea Burton was cited by Youngstown municipal court judge Robert Milich for wearing a pin that, she said, was covered by the US constitution’s first amendment.

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“He indicated to me that he didn’t know whether I was trying to seek attention from the news, or whatever the case, but that legally, I wasn’t allowed to wear it,” Burton, 30, told a local NBC affiliate. “And I deferred, and said that I’m respecting my first amendment right, that I’m not neutral in injustice, and to remain neutral becomes an accomplice to oppression.”

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Milich held Burton in direct contempt of court, records show, but stayed the ruling on the condition that the attorney doesn’t wear a Black Lives Matter badge or pin in the Youngtown municipal courthouse. The order was stayed while Burton appealed the decision to a higher court, according to reports.
“It’s an act of civil disobedience, I understand that,” Burton told WFMJ, the NBC station. “I’m not anti-police, I work with law enforcement every day, and I hold them in the highest regard.”
“And just to say for the record,” she continued, “I do believe all lives matter, but at this point they don’t matter equally, and that’s a problem in the justice system.”
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George Freeman Jr, the president of the NAACP’s Youngstown branch, said his staff is monitoring the case “very closely” as Burton’s civil rights may have been violated.
“Unless she violated the law – there does not seem to be a valid reason for her to be JAILED because she was wearing a [pin] WITH Black Lives Matter,” Freemansaid in a statement.
Freeman questioned whether Burton would have been asked by the judge to remove an item touting a different cause, like a “support veterans” pin.

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