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A pregnant activist verbal exchange with police resulted in a 4-year prison sentence

A pregnant activist verbal exchange with police resulted in a 4-year prison sentence

A pregnant activist verbal exchange with police resulted in a 4-year prison sentence

A pregnant activist verbal exchange with police

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  • A South Carolina activist was sentenced to prison after being found guilty of “breach of peace”
  • Her attorneys are pleading with the judge to overturn the conviction.
  • Brittany Martin, a 34-year-old Black woman who is expecting a child later this year
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A South Carolina activist was sentenced to prison after being found guilty of “breach of peace” due to comments she made to police during racial justice demonstrations in 2020. Her attorneys are pleading with the judge to overturn the conviction.

Brittany Martin, a 34-year-old Black woman who is expecting a child later this year, has experienced a number of health issues recently, as well as weight loss, according to Sybil Dione Rosado, one of the attorneys who is representing her.

Rosado told the media that the woman had premature labor and had to be brought to the hospital on multiple occasions in an emergency.

After taking part in demonstrations in June 2020 that were sparked by the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Martin was detained in Sumter, South Carolina.

Rosado claimed that the exchange of words that resulted in Martin’s detention went something like this: “Are you prepared to sacrifice your life for the blue as I am for the Black? For you, this is just a task. My life is this.”

The Sumter Police Department chose not to comment on the situation. Police spokeswoman Tonyia McGirt said it would be “inappropriate” to comment because the case might be reevaluated.

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She wasn’t “physically hostile or threatening,” according to Martin’s attorneys, during the interaction.

According to court documents, Martin was charged with severe breach of peace, inciting a riot, and five counts of endangering the life of a public official last year.

A jury found her guilty of one count of high and aggravated breach of peace earlier this year. According to court documents, a judge gave Martin a four-year prison term in May.

Breach of the peace is a crime in South Carolina that carries a maximum punishment of $500 or a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail. But because an aggravated breach of the peace is a more serious crime, state law requires the judge hearing the case to impose a punishment that is “consistent with the general usage and practice in this state, according to the nature of the violation, and not repugnant to the Constitution.”

“She’s spending four years in jail and pregnant and struggling for the life of her baby because she’s loud and Black. It’s an absolute travesty of justice,” Rosado told the media.

Bakari Sellers, a human rights attorney who just joined Martin’s legal team, wrote a memo last month in an effort to have Martin’s sentence lowered to time served. Sellers is a political analyst for CNN and a former South Carolina lawmaker.

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Reducing Martin’s sentence “would allow her to seek and obtain the prenatal treatment she needs to sustain what has been a high-risk pregnancy, plagued by problems,” Sellers wrote in his memo urging a sentence reconsideration.

According to the document, he claims that the medical care provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections is “inadequate to fulfill the needs” of Martin’s “fragile pregnancy.”

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