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Pima Supes can not punish Miller for comments

Posted at 2:26 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 22:47:20-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima Supervisor Ally Miller will not be punished for controversial comments she made after disturbances in Charlottesville, Virginia----because her fellow supervisors do not have the authority to punish her.

Right after violent disturbances in Charlottesville left a civilian and two Virginia State Troopers dead, Miller went on her private Facebook page and said, “I am sick and tired or being hit for being white.  It is all about making us feel like we need to apologize.  I am WHITE - and proud of it! No apologies necessary."

That led to vigorous criticism from people who felt her comments were racist, and comments from defenders who felt what she said was free speech and not offensive at all.

Najima Rainey of Black Lives Matter said, "If you are so ignorant as an official that you did not understand that at a time when we are facing huge racial strife the words "white and proud" would be associated with the white pride movement then shame on you."

Chris King said Miller has a right to say what she likes: “The First Amendment gives free speech protection rights to everybody regardless of whether or not you like them."

The board voted three to two to ask the County Attorney if they could punish Miller.

The answer was no.

Miller said, "I think our First Amendment rights and our First Amendment rights to free speech are alive and well and I'm very pleased with the County Attorney's opinion.  That's all I have to say.  Thank you very much."

Board Chair Sharon Bronson said, “I would have liked to have seen Supervisor Miller apologize but again, I think she's within her legal rights and I think we've clarified that for some of the individuals who came in here and spoke concerned about her remarks."