According to the Associated Press, a pregnant Black activist serving four years in prison for her behavior during the 2020 Summer of Protests will have her sentence reconsidered as she struggles to reach her due date behind bars.
Brittany Martin, 34, is due to give birth in November. Martin was found guilty earlier this spring of breaching the peace over comments she made to police at protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. At the time, Martin had recently moved from Iowa to South Carolina with her four other children with the intention to protest, AP reports.
While the racial injustices of 2020 was a breaking point for many Black Americans, Martin’s dedication to the movement is more personal than most. In 2016, Martin’s brother-in-law was killed by police. The in-law was shot 19 times when officers said he fired a gun after a chase in a stolen car.
During her trial, prosecutors presented police body camera recordings including snippets of those demonstrations. AP reports that the footage they viewed did not show Martin laying hands on any officers. Footage however, does show Martin chanting “No justice, no peace,” in an officer’s face.
She also can be seen and heard saying, “Some of us gon’ be hurting. And some of y’all gon’ be hurting. We ready to die for this. We tired of it. You better be ready to die for the blue. I’m ready to die for the Black.”
While the jury acquitted Martin of participating in a riot, she was found guilty of breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature. However, the jury did not rule on five counts of threatening the life of a public official.
Martin’s legal team argues that she was overcharged and oversentenced for a crime that more often results in a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.
Martin’s lawyers have been pushing for a lesser sentence amid increasing concerns about her health and that of her baby.
She has reportedly said her body “can’t get comfortable with the baby.” Since July, while incarcerated, the mom-to-be has lost 12 pounds. She was taken to a hospital twice by ambulance in July. According to AP, Martin’s sister said that she has experienced contractions and another time she entered preterm labor at 25 weeks.
On September 12, Civil rights attorney and former state lawmaker Bakari Sellers will inform the judge that her punishment is undeserved.