A 29-year-old municipal judge in New York has lost his job after sharing a “Make America Great Again” image with a noose on his Facebook page.
According to NBC News, Kyle Canning shared the controversial image in question in February 2018. The image was captioned: “If we want to make America great again we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.”
Announcing his resignation in a statement on Tuesday, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct also confirmed he is under formal charges by the commission for sharing an image that conveyed racial and/or political bias.
“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.
“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 initially served with a formal written complaint about the post in May 2019. He resigned the following month and also agreed to “never to seek or accept judicial office at any time in the future.”
“The Commission accepted a stipulation to that effect signed by the judge and the Commission’s Administrator and closed its formal proceeding,” the statement further read.
Canning had been a Justice of the Altona Town Court since 2018 and his term was set to expire in December 2021. Though he apologized for the post in his resignation letter, he claimed he was coerced to resign.
“They have presented me with several different options in resolving what they claim to be a serious offense,” he wrote, according to The Washington Post. “I feel as though, due to my current financial situation and obligations to my family, I am being coerced into resigning.”
Speaking with The New York Times, Canning also claimed he is not a racist and a Trump fan.
“The post was not racist. I’m not a racist guy,” he said. “There is not a man that I could despise more than Donald Trump.”