Melbourne, FL - An Assistant Public Defender, Alton Edmond, blames his termination on President Trump and his Black Lives Matter tie.
According to USA Today, Alton Edmond said that he was fired from his position on Wednesday because he complained online about what he believes is an "overtly political" atmosphere at the Brevard County Public Defender's Office. As a public defender, Edmond, age 27, handled misdemeanor cases for the office.
The termination occurred after an unknown person printed out Alton Edmond's Facebook posts and gave them to his boss, Public Defender Blaise Trettis. He said that Edmond was "posting on Facebook during working hours, and the posts were about me. When you’re at work, criticizing your boss, that’s not a good thing." Trettis said that no reason was given in the documentation for Edmond's termination.
Alton Edmond denied making the Facebook posts during work hours and said that he was opening his own practice.
Trettis confirmed Alton Edmond's termination but said that it was not about his tie. He said that it was a culmination of things. Trettis said that “People can talk about politics, of course. But there’s a big difference about talking politics and wearing politics on your tie."
The controversial Black Lives Matter group is an anti-police hate-promoting political group. Edmond said that wearing the tie was a principle, and that he was showing support as an attorney for his poor clients.
This is not the first time that wearing something with BLM on it has gotten an attorney in trouble. Because Black Lives Matter is a political group, it's against court rules to promote them in a courtroom. That is, unless you're a federal judge. In September, 2016, a defense attorney in Las Vegas refused to remove a BLM button after a judge condemned it as political speech and demanded that it be removed. In another incident, a female attorney who refused to take her BLM pin off was jailed for contempt.
Alton Edmond said that he has wore the tie several times at work and has not received any comments from a judge. He said that it is his first amendment right, that it is very personal for him, and that this is his way of "representing a struggle."
He said that it has now been made clear that there is "some intolerance" in the Public Defender's Office. He said that people in the office are "overly sensitive, very conservative, and talked openly about their support of Trump." Edmond said that even the Public Defender (Trettis) was at a Trump rally last year, sitting in the front row.
Trettis said that he verbally admonished Alton Edmond about the tie but that other incidents played factors in Edmond's termination. Trettis said there was an incident where Edmond recorded his colleagues talking about politics and another incident where Edmond left a loaded gun on the desk in his office before he went to court.
Alton Edmond acknowledged that both the video and the incident involving the gun were part of the reasons that he was fired. He does have a valid concealed carry permit, as do several other employees of the Public Defender's Office. He said that he closed his office door when he went to court that day and that another employee went into his office without his permission. The gun was initially taken by someone to secure it that day but has since been returned to him.
It seems excuses for being terminated now include blaming an office as being sensitive, conservative and supporters of President Trump. Just another way for so many people today to continue blaming consequences on everything but their actions.
Do you think Alton Edmond's actions justified termination? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the comments below.