A New York municipal judge resigned recently after being permanently barred from judicial office after posting a picture of a noose to Facebook with “Make America Great Again” included in the caption.
29-year-old Kyle Canning was a town court justice in Altona, New York, just south of the Canadian border. He posted the picture back 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.”
According to New York state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, this post launched an investigation into Canning’s overal conduct. The commission served him with a formal written complaint in May, charging him with conveying racial and political bias. The next month, Canning resigned, 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.”
Canning was only a town justice for a month before he posted the insensitive image to his Facebook page and now, in addition to resigning, he 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.”
”It has been a pleasure serving this town as one of its justices, and I will greatly miss my duties,” he wrote. “l do formally apologize for the inconvenience and hardship that I have imposed on my co-justice and the Town of Altona. “