Michigan Lawyer Receives Citation Over Black Lives Matter Sign Outside His Home

A lawyer from Michigan has received a citation over a Black Lives Matter sign outside his home, with police saying it violates a city ordinance.

Todd Russell Perkins, a lawyer from Grosse Pointe Shores near Detroit, nailed the sign to a tree outside his house in November.

Afterward, he received a police report warning ordering him to remove the sign as it violated a rule that there can be no political signs larger than seven square feet.

Police said they had received an anonymous complaint about the sign. Perkins said he wanted to know which neighbor had made the complaint and has argued he should have freedom of speech.

Speaking to Fox News, he said: "To announce it, to be able to say it, to be able to scream it from atop of a mountain is my right as an American.

"We can all agree that that's greater than seven square feet, but we cannot agree that that is a political statement. What candidate was named Black Lives Matter, number one. What ballot issue was called Black Lives Matter?"

Perkins added: "It's political to other people. It's political to people who probably are not Black, who probably don't understand what this means, how important it is for us to have our fair share, to have more equality than what's here."

The ordinance references political signs, garage sale signs, for sale signs and other free-standing signs.

The attorney says he believes the ordinance is unconstitutional as it "indicates that no sign greater than seven square feet, in regards to a political candidate or a ballot issue or initiative. So, this sign is neither."

Newsweek has reached out to the Grosse Pointe Shores mayor and police department for comment.

In July, a Black Lives Matter mural painted on the side of a downtown store was removed by a nonprofit organization for graffiti removal.

The mural featured an image of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch. It also paid tribute to the late George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The mural was created by artist Katherine Bernhardt, who bought the building to store her art and painted the mural on sections of plywood used to cover the windows. She wanted to do something to support the movement against racial injustice.

However, officials received a graffiti complaint on the building through the city's Citizens' Service Bureau. The complaint was forwarded to Brightside St. Louis, a not-for-profit that is also a division of the St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.

Black Lives Matter Detroit Michigan
Demonstrators protest against police brutality on May 30, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images