Black Attorney Sues Grosse Pointe Shores Over His Black Lives Matter Lawn Sign

December 10, 2020, 1:25 PM by  Allan Lengel

Todd Perkins' house in Grosse Pointe Shores (Courtesy photo)

The City of Grosse Pointe Shores appears to be backing down, but Black attorney Todd Perkins isn't.

Perkins is suing the city, saying he has a right to display a Black Lives Matter sign on his front yard. The city's police recently ticketed him, saying his sign was too big, in violation of a city ordinance.

Todd Perkins: :"It's cowardly." (Courtesy photo)

"Them backing down doesn't matter," Perkins tells Deadline Detroit. "It's not just about me. They need to be told they were wrong and they need to be shamed."

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit notes that the city "has a history of animosity toward persons of color and other minorities," and suggests the actions are a violation of his Constitutional rights, and more about race than enforcing an "ambigous" ordinance. 

He wants the court to declare the city ordinance "overbroad and unconstitutional" and prohibit Grosse Pointe Shores from enforcing it. He also asks for unspecified monetary damages and lawyer fees. 

After getting the ticket, Perkins vowed last week to push back, telling Deadline Detroit:

"They like quiet in the Pointes. Well, now it’s not gonna be so quiet.”

Perkins had a Jan. 13 date in Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Court-Shores Division, but that has been put on hold. He says the city's public safety department earlier this week requested to withdraw the ticket.

Perkins says the city ordinance under which he was ticketed really addresses political and campaign signs.

"It's clearly not that," he says, explaining that Black Lives Matters is about humanity, not politics.

"A failure to have justice here is a failure to have justice anywhere," he added.

He's bothered that neighbors complained to the city.

"I think it's cowardly," he said. "If they had a problem, and we're supposed to be neighbors, they should have come to me."

Interim City Manager Tom Krolczyk was temporarily out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a call for comment. 

Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day