A verbal encounter with police at a Black Lives Matter protest led pregnant activist to 4-year prison sentence

Authored by edition.cnn.com and submitted by dontfollowthesheeple
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(CNN) Lawyers are pushing for a judge to reconsider the prison sentence of a South Carolina activist who was convicted for "breach of peace," aggravated over remarks she made to police during racial justice protests in 2020.

Brittany Martin, a 34-year-old Black woman, is expecting a baby later this year, but in the past months, she has suffered several health complications and lost weight, said Sybil Dione Rosado, one of the attorney's representing her.

"She has had preterm labor, she's had several events where she had to be taken on an emergency basis to the hospital," Rosado told CNN.

Martin was arrested in Sumter, South Carolina, after taking part in June 2020 protests prompted by the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Rosado said the verbal encounter that led to Martin's arrest was along the lines of, "I'm willing to die for the Black, are you willing to die for the blue? This is just a job for you. This is my life."

pheisenberg on September 11st, 2022 at 14:43 UTC »

I haven’t even been able to find the statute for this, and I’m starting to think there isn’t one. The closest I got was a stub page from the courts, and statutes that have related words but don’t define the offense. This says “breach of peace” was originally a common law offense. There’s always been a measure of judicial tyranny in small-town America.

Maybe the SC legislators never bothered to codify it. Or maybe they didn’t want to. I don’t think there’s a defined sentence for “aggravated breach of peace”, either. It seems to be a license to arbitrarily imprison people.

Not sure what the jury was thinking, but we have to see the jury instructions to really understand.

Atotallyrandomname on September 11st, 2022 at 13:04 UTC »

"In court, prosecutors presented police body camera recordings including snippets of those demonstrations. Shared with the AP, they don't show her laying hands on any officers. Videos from May 31, 2020 show Martin chanting "No justice, no peace," in an officer's face. Police donned riot gear and discussed using tear gas before letting the crowd disperse.Martin used stronger language days later."Some of us gon' be hurting. And some of y'all gon' be hurting," Martin told officers. "We ready to die for this. We tired of it. You better be ready to die for the blue. I'm ready to die for the Black."The jury acquitted Martin of inciting a riot and reached no verdict on whether she threatened officers' lives. Her legal team was "elated" when jurors found her guilty only of breaching the peace, punishable by no more than a $500 fine and 30 days in jail, investigator Tony Kennedy recalled.State law defines breachers of the peace as any disturbers, "dangerous and disorderly persons" or people who utter "menaces or threatening speeches." But prosecutors presented the charge as a "high and aggravated" crime, which carries up to 10 years imprisonment. Rosado said Judge Kirk Griffin did not allow her to explain the distinction, and the possibility of a much stiffer penalty, to the jury."