New York judge barred for posting noose and ‘Make America Great Again’ message on Facebook


This undated image shows a noose displayed on the Facebook page of Altona Town Court Justice Kyle R. Canning. The page is included as part of a complaint against Channing by State of New York Commission of Judicial Conduct. AP

A New York judge has been barred from the bench for posting an image of a noose on Facebook with a message that read: “If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.” 

The State of New York Commission on Judicial Conduct found that Town Court Justice Kyle R. Canning, who served in Altona, near the Canadian border, improperly conveyed racial and/or political bias. According to a written complaint filed against Canning, he “failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Canning posted the image on Facebook in February 2018, and it remained there, visible to the public, until the commission sent him a letter about it six months later. Canning was served with a formal written complaint in May 2019 and resigned from his position in June. Canning, who is not an attorney, was elected to a four-year term as town judge in 2018 and made a $8,702 annual salary. 

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Tuesday that Canning had agreed “never to seek or accept judicial office at any time in the future.” 

Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian explained the decision in a written statement. 

“The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations. It is the very antithesis of law and justice,” 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.”

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