Courthouse Won't Give In to Retired Cops Who Say Kid's 'Black Lives Matter' Art Is Hate Speech

"This is the cultural response of a middle school student, here in Central Islip, to present-day America," says chief judge.


screenshot/CBS 2 New York

So much eyeroll at retired New York City police officer Ed Munoz, who's campaigning against a middle-schooler's Black Lives Matter poster, calling it "hate speech." The poster, displayed in the Suffolk County District Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, says: "Stop The Violence. Black Lives Matter. Stop the Racism."

Munoz, a former NYPD officer with failed political ambitions, now co-hosts an Internet radio show called "Everything Matters." 

"'Black Lives Matter,' we feel, is anti-police and the rhetoric that they spew is anti-police," Munoz told CBS New York, describing the kid's artwork as hate speech and claiming that Black Lives Matter activists roam the streets of Manhattan calling for the death of police officers. Another retired NYPD cop, Lieutenant John Pribetich, worried about what could happen "if it affects a juror."

Because heaven forbid jurors be primed to be conscientious about racism in the criminal justice system… 

The poster was commissioned by the court as part of a request to a local middle school for art that celebrates different cultures. "It is not the intention of the court to put forth any anti-law enforcement message," the county's chief administrative judge, C. Randall Hinrichs, told CBS. "This is the cultural response of a middle school student, here in Central Islip, to present-day America."

While offending the law enforcement community is "the last thing we want to do," added Hinrichs, the poster would stay up for the rest of the month, as originally planned. Regardless of how some people may interpret it, "it talks about stopping violence and racism, which are admirable sentiments," he said.