BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, the attorney representing Birmingham comedian Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson announced that the court had dismissed charges against him for his part in a protest held at Linn Park weeks ago.
Emory Anthony, Johnson’s attorney, held a press conference, where he announced that the inciting to riot charge against Johnson had been dismissed. Inciting to riot is a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama that is punishable up to a year in prison or a $6,000 fine.
“We believe these charges never should have been brought against Mr. Johnson,” Anthony said. “Mr. Johnson never incited a riot, but we want to be thankful at the same time for the charges being dismissed and we didn’t have to go through any situation of having a trial.”
Johnson, who is well-known online for his humorous videos on Alabama football, was one of the main speakers at a protest held at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham May 31, where protesters took hammers and rocks to the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument and vandalized it. The protesters also tore down a statue of Charles Linn, the park’s namesake and a Birmingham businessman who served in the Confederate States Navy during the Civil War.
As the night went on, the protest took a violent turn with several nearby businesses sustaining damage and some reporters being hit.
The city has since removed the Confederate monument from the park.
Following Anthony’s comments, Johnson briefly spoke, where he thanked God as well as the citizens of Birmingham who took part in the protest.
“Y’all stepped up, y’all showed out. You deserve better, you’re going to get it, change is on the way. You should be proud,” Johnson said. “This isn’t about me. This is about y’all, so y’all should rejoice. Change is on the way. I promise.”