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Defense Attorney Sparks ‘Black Lives’ Protest in Vegas Court

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A defense attorney sparked a Las Vegas courtroom protest when she refused to remove a “Black Lives Matter” button from her blouse despite a judge’s request not to demonstrate what he called political speech.

About a dozen other lawyers arrived Tuesday to support Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou telling Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon she has a First Amendment right to show her opinion.

The judge earlier asked people to cover T-shirts they’d worn to support victims in another case.

He told Ballou he tries to keep the courtroom free from outside influences.

Ballou says she took her stand after the Las Vegas police union sent a letter last week to judges, complaining that what the union leader termed “‘Black Lives Matter’ propaganda” has no place in courtrooms.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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