Free Brittany Martin
Free Brittany Martin
Following the 2020 murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor citizens took to the streets to stand against police violence in America, in what became known as the “Summer of Protest” nationwide.
In towns like Sumter, South Carolina - a majority Black city of 44,000 residents - the response followed suit. In one rally, nine protestors were arrested, including mother and local activist, Brittany Martin, who led the protest. Martin was charged with breach of peace, instigating, aiding or participating in a riot and five counts of threatening the life of a public official – even though there were no reports of violence, property damage or injury.
Supporters say Martin, 32, was entitled to peaceably gather with friends and speak freely at the 2020 protest. However, a jury disagreed and considered Martin’s comments to be threats. That jury found Martin guilty of breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature. She was acquitted of participating in a riot and the jury did not rule on five counts of threatening the life of a public official. But, this resulted in Judge Kirk Griffin ordering a four-year jail sentence for Martin, who is three months pregnant.
Unlike 2020 protests in Columbia and Charleston, where police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as some protesters threw rocks, fired guns, burned police cars and looted businesses, this protest in Sumter was peaceful. Yet, the sentence handed down to Martin by Judge Griffin is far harsher than a number of those charged in federal court with crimes including arson, assault and inciting a riot .It is clear that Martin was overcharged and over sentenced for a crime that more often results in a $500 fine or 30 days in jail, said Sybil Rosado, who represents Martin. This punishment would be horrendous for any person having their rights denied, but this is especially true for Brittany who is being detained while pregnant. We owe her, her unborn child and countless others unjustly harmed by police — better.
We are calling for the release of Brittany Martin now.
We cannot stand by as law enforcement officials use force to silence anyone that speaks against them.
Join us as we take action. Sign the petition. #FreeBrittanyMartin