A seventy five-yr-previous army veteran was acquitted Tuesday of illegally hanging an American flag on the fence of a Veterans Affairs facility in West Los Angeles with out permission.
The federal misdemeanor rely towards Robert Rosebrock stems from a VA statute that prohibits the posting of supplies or “placards” on a VA property besides when approved by the top of the power.
Rosebrock was cited on Memorial Day 2016 for allegedly displaying two serviette-sized American flags on a fence adjoining to the “Nice Garden Gate” entrance to the Veterans Park. He and fellow veterans have been assembling on the website almost each Sunday and Memorial Day for the previous 9 years to protest what they consider is the VA’s failure to make full use of the expansive property for the profit and care of veterans, notably homeless veterans.
On the conclusion of a bench trial, U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Steve Kim discovered Rosebrock not responsible of the violation, which carries a most six-month jail sentence. The decide concluded that no proof was introduced displaying Rosebrock lacked permission to submit the flags or that Rosebrock had displayed them within the first place.
The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace declined remark.
Homeless activist Ted Hayes, dressed as Uncle Sam in a purple, white and blue outfit, joined about two-dozen observers in Kim’s courtroom in downtown Los Angeles. Army veteran Gene Simes, nationwide chairman of a Rochester, New York-based mostly veterans advocacy group, stood in uniform at consideration with a folded flag beneath his arm through the continuing.
The gallery burst into applause on the decide’s ruling.
Rosebrock stated outdoors courtroom that he was “honored that the flag was exonerated — and for as soon as the veterans received a victory.”
Rosebrock initially confronted two further counts for allegedly taking unauthorized pictures of a VA police officer on the VA’s Nice Garden Gate with out permission.
Nevertheless, in a pretrial determination, Kim dominated that the regulation, as utilized to the Nice Garden, was not affordable underneath even probably the most lenient First Modification normal.
The VA argued that the statute was needed to protect towards invasive and distracting media actions and to guard veterans’ privateness. However the courtroom rejected that declare, discovering that if the VA needed to guard veterans’ privateness, it might ban all images, not simply images for information, business or promoting functions.
—Metropolis Information Service
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