Dayton tenants claim Black Lives Matter sign led to eviction

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Two women renting part of a Dayton, Ohio duplex said their lease was ended after displaying a sign supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Lindsay Ainsworth and Melissa Carrion, who live in at 3606 Woodbine Avenue, said they were given 30 days to move out because of a dispute over the sign with their landlord.

“I think something like a sign is a very simple act and it causes nobody any harm,” said Ainsworth. “The only thing it can do is provide a source of comfort.”

After moving from Arkansas five years ago, Ainsworth said she became sort of an activist. Last August, she put the sign up in her front yard to support the movement.

A few days later, it disappeared.

After putting up another sign in September, Ainsworth said she was confronted by her landlord’s wife claiming complaints from the neighbors.

“We had a few discussions at length about it and it’s very clear they’re unhappy with it and would like us to take it down,” said Ainsworth. “We just really don’t think that’s reasonable.”

A mediator was willing to work things out between Ainsworth and her landlord, Dan Christiansen. But the mediation was never started.

Feeling like she had no other options, Ainsworth started looking for another place.

After posting her plight to social media, about 20 friends and neighbors came to her side to help with the move.

“Anytime a call goes out in this type of situation we need to be there to make sure we support someone with this kind of situation,” said Carlos Buford.

Seeing the community support, Ainsworth said it makes a difficult time a little easier.

“We’ve had a huge outpouring of support to show us this is something worth fighting for,” said Ainsworth.

Ohio’s 2 News reached out to Christiansen on Sunday. As of now, their calls have not been returned.

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