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Grosse Pointe Shores resident receives citation for Black Lives Matter sign at residence

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 18:26:39-05

GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) — A battle is brewing over a Black Lives Matter Sign in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Homeowner Todd Russell Perkins said he received a citation saying the sign violates a city ordinance.

“Freedom of speech that we should be allowed to have," he said.

Perkins, an attorney, has been living in his home for nearly 10 years. He said he's always followed the rules of being a good neighbor and maintains upkeep of his property.

In October, he put up a Black Lives Matter sign. The wind blew it down last month, so he nailed it on a tree on November 20.

Shortly after, Perkins received a police report warning that he will be ticketed if the sign isn’t up to code.

“I believe the ordinance itself is unconstitutional,” he explained. “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.”

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

Perkins believes racism is the issue.

“Everything has something to do with race.”

The attorney wishes the neighbor who complained to the city had a conversation with him instead.

“Now, you called the police on me. You’ve laid down the gauntlet, so it’s a different kind of context. It’s a different texture to that conversation right now.”

Perkins is planning to fight the citation but he says he hopes all of this has sparked the discussion of the meaning behind Black Lives Matter.

We reached out to the interim city manager of Grosse Pointe Shores this morning, leaving him a message.

We will update you as soon as he returns our call with a comment.