After police in Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania arrested and charged Joshuaa Brubaker with Insults and Desecration to an American Flag, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania judge ruled Tuesday, that there was sufficient evidence to seek a misdemeanor charge in trial against Brubaker.
Specifically, charges were filed against Brubaker because he had hung an American Flag on the front of his home with “AIM” spray painted in large white letters on the flag.
According to the Blair County Police Criminal Complaint, warrant of arrest was issued because Brubaker’s acts ‘were against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’ and the flag was taken down and marked as evidence after attempts to reach Brubaker were unsuccessful.
Brubaker has stated to the press including a television interview with WJAC that he is of Native descent, is passionate about his heritage and the American Indian Movement and grew frustrated when he learned the historical site of Wounded Knee was for sale.
“I found that Wounded Knee is up for sale, not only privately but commercially,” Brubaker said to WJACTV. Brubaker says he was conducting a peaceful protest and was not infringing on the rights of anyone.
The Allegheny Township Police Department, to include Asst. Chief Leo Berg, III certainly does not share Brubaker’s view. In Berg’s criminal complaint, he first wrote that the Brubaker residence, which is directly across the roadway from the Allegheny Municipal Building, was so ‘offensive and insulting” a passing motorist stopped at the station to file a complaint on May 12, 2014.
On May 13, 2014, another person came to the station to file a complaint after which, Berg and an accompanying officer attempted to make contact with Brubaker, after they were unsuccessful, they removed the flag and secured it as evidence.
Later that same day Brubaker filed a stolen property report issued a description of the flag and assessed its value at $15.00.
Since the case is still currently pending and a verdict has not been made nor has Brubaker pled, the offenses against Brubaker are as follows: CC2103: Insults to national or commonwealth flag: in which the person is guilty of a misdemeanor if a person maliciously takes down, defiles, injures, damages or destroys any flag and CC2102A: Desecration of the flag: (which includes) places marks, writing or designs on the flag, exposes to the public a marked or defiled flag and other similar actions.
Though parties from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth have expressed they cannot comment and Brubaker did not return messages to ICTMN by press time of this article, the description of Brubaker’s actions by Berg in the criminal complaint does lend an idea to the environment in regards to Brubaker’s actions.
In his report, Berg wrote his experience in meeting with Brubaker after Brubaker had filed a stolen property complaint:
“I then made photo copies of the Pennsylvania Crime Code Title 18, Section CC2102 - Desecration Of Flag and Section CC2103 - Insults To National Or Commonwealth Flag. I informed Joshuaa that his flag was seized and was not stolen. I explained that I was offended along with others by the disrespectful, offensive and insulting desecration and public display of his flag. I informed him that he was not under arrest and was free to leave at any time.”
“I presented him with the aforementioned photo copies of the PA Crimes Code and informed him that he would be criminally charged for these offenses. I also advised Joshuaa that I potentially saved him from getting his ass kicked by the first military person that also would have taken offense and had contact with him.”