ACLU sues police over seizure, prosecution of ‘protest’ flag

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A central Pennsylvania man is suing police who charged him for painting the letters “AIM” on an American flag that he flew upside down on his house.

Joshuaa Brubaker is part Native American and says “AIM” stands for the American Indiana Movement. He says he flew the flag on his porch in Allegheny Township in May 2014 to protest plans to route the proposed Keystone Pipeline through the site of the Wounded Knee confrontation in South Dakota.

Brubaker contends the township, and its police chief, were wrong to seize the flag and charge him with flag desecration. A Blair County judge dismissed the criminal charges last year, saying Brubaker’s protest was constitutionally protected speech – which Brubaker’s lawsuit echoes.

The chief didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment. The township declined comment.

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