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Appeals court overturns conviction in racial slur case

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Posted at 12:37 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 12:37:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The conviction of a retired U.S. Air Force officer who used a racial slur while speaking to a Black store clerk and Black customer has been overturned by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the slur was protected by the First Amendment.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jules Bartow, who is white, was arrested after he used the slur while shopping for boots at the Quantico Marine Corps Exchange in 2018.

Bartow was convicted of violating Virginia’s abusive language law.