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Monday, June 24, 2024

NYC Homeless Man Charged for Defecating on LGBT Pride Flags

'So you can burn an American flag, but pooping on a gay flag is somehow a crime? ... '

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) A homeless man in New York was charged with several hate crimes for defecating on an LGBT Pride flag and wiping with another one at a Manhattan restaurant.

According to the NYPD, 45-year-old Fred Innocent walked into a tapas bar called Buceo 95 at about 10 a.m. on April 15 as the day crew was setting up. Innocent then grabbed two pride flags off a table, relieving himself on one and cleaning himself with the other.

A Daily News report noted that restaurant owner Courtney Barroll believed Innocent’s action to be “a total hate crime.”

“He came in within 15 minutes of us opening up the restaurant,” Barroll said. “He could have gone to Popeyes or McDonald’s around the corner. He could have used napkins.” 

She added that she puts up the rainbow flags to show the restaurant’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

“We support everyone no matter what kind of background, race or lifestyle,” Barroll said. “He took the only two flags in the area, and he used one to defecate and the other to wipe himself.”

The report added that restaurant porter Enrique Trujillo discovered the mess Innocent created as he attempted to clean the dining shed.

“I smelled something really bad,” Trujillo said. “When I started to clean near the corners — that’s when I saw it. The man carried out his disgusting act beneath a surveillance camera.”

Barrel noted that the hate crimes detectives worked hard to track down Innocent, noting that she would press for the maximum charge if asked to go to court.

However, this incident happens to be controversial as social media users noted that flag desecration used to be an act of protected free speech under the First Amendment.

“I think charging him with a hate crime is a massive overreaction,” Misha Fitton tweeted. “He ruined their property, and this was obviously wrong, but I don’t think it should have been charged as a hate crime.”

Ice Brandon also wrote, “ Don’t mind the violent murders, robberies, muggings, rapes, etc… Focus on this shiny thing over here. NYC is being led into a gutter.”

Another puzzled user asked, “So you can burn an American flag, but pooping on a gay flag is somehow a crime?”

Finally, @verbal_chancla concluded, “Some flags are more equal than others.”

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