GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. (FOX 2) - A prominent attorney is accused of violating an ordinance in his community with a Black Lives Matter sign.
"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," Todd Perkins said. The sign is in front of his Grosse Pointe Shores home, where the police say it's illegal.
They cited Perkins and gave him notice to remove the sign, saying it violates a village ordinance: There can be no political signs exceeding seven square feet.
"We can all agree that that’s greater than seven square feet, but we cannot agree that that is a political statement," Perkins said. "What candidate was named Black Lives Matter, number one. What ballot issue was called Black Lives Matter?"
It's a similar-sounding saga to one FOX 2 covered this summer in a Macomb Township subdivision, where neighbors were told to also get rid of their Black Lives Matter signs. Their bylaws only allowed for sale signs.
But in Grosse Pointe Shores, several kinds of signs are allowed. The question, though, is one affirming the inherent value of Black life political?
"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," Perkins said.
Police cited Perkins after receiving an anonymous complaint about the sign. Perkins says he has the right to know who made that complaint and the right to keep the sign up.
"This is a statement. It’s an expression of free speech. It’s protected, just like what you do is protected by our constitution."
Black lives matter. Those three words have become fighting words to some, but for those who coined the phrase and others, like Perkins, it’s a simple truth that they say has yet to be fully accepted.
"The point is Black lives matter because other people think that they don’t," Perkins said.
FOX 2 reached out to both the mayor and police department for comment. The director says he's looking into everything about the situation and wouldn't comment further. The mayor has yet to respond.