After posting an image to Facebook of a noose with a “Make America Great Again” caption a New York municipal judge has resigned and permanently barred from judicial office.
Kyle Canning, 29, a town court justice in Altona, New York, posted the image in February 2018 that read in all capital letters, “If we want to make America great again we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.”
When the post became public, the New York state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, launched an investigation into Canning’s conduct. The commission gave a formal written complaint in Ma to the justice, charging him with conveying racial and political bias. Canning’s resignation came in June, and on Tuesday, the commission released the results of its investigation with a statement.
“The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations. It is the very antithesis of law and justice,” Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in the statement. “For a judge to use the image of the noose in making a political point undermines the integrity of the judiciary and public confidence in the courts.”
It had been only a month that Canning had been a town justice before he posted the image to Facebook. Besides resigning, he has also agreed to never seek or accept judicial office in the future.
In his resignation letter to the Altona town supervisor, Canning said he felt like he was “coerced into resigning.”
Canning told The New York Times he is a registered Democrat and not a supporter of President Donald Trump who used the slogan “Make America Great Again” in his campaign.
“The post was not racist. I’m not a racist guy,” he said, adding that “there is not a man that I could despise more than Donald Trump.”