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Attorney Held in Contempt for 'Black Lives Matter' Button

An 'act of civil disobedience'
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2016 2:57 PM CDT
Attorney Held in Contempt for 'Black Lives Matter' Button
People, carry a sheet with Black Lives Matter on it during a unity march in Michigan.   (Bryan Bennett/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP)

(Newser) – An "act of civil disobedience" resulted in a Youngstown, Ohio, attorney being handcuffed and sentenced to five days in jail for contempt of court. Andrea Burton on Friday morning refused to comply with a judge's order that she remove a "Black Lives Matter" button that she was wearing, WFMJ reports. After giving her several chances to remove the button, Judge Robert Milich had Burton cuffed and taken to jail. She's out now, pending an appeal. "I'm not anti-police," Burton tells WFMJ, "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 a problem in the justice system."

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The local NAACP tells WKBN that it is keeping a close eye on the situation because it may violate Burton's civil rights. An ACLU representative says holding someone in contempt of court for refusing to remove an article of clothing is not unheard of, adding, "Many times this has been done to retain the defendant’s right to a fair trial.” As for Milich, he says it's just a matter of following the law. “A judge doesn’t support either side,” he tells WKBN. “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." (Read more Ohio stories.)

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