Woman Arrested in New York City for Arson and Hate Crime for Burning Gay Pride Flag

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A 30-year-old woman has been arrested in New York for burning a gay pride flag.

Angelina Cando was charged with arson as a hate crime, criminal mischief as a hate crime and reckless endangerment as a hate crime, according to New York City police.

The flag was flying outside of a restaurant in Soho, and reportedly said “Make America Gay Again.”

Surveillance video showed someone exiting a car around 1:30am and setting the flag on fire.

The fire spread from the flag to the building, causing some exterior damage.

New York City has certainly been in the news of late, most recently for wasting remarkable sums of money on unused COVID supplies.


New York City mayor Eric Adams where they charged someone for a hate crime after burning a gay pride flag
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2023/01/29: Mayor Eric Adams attends House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries 2023 community inauguration at Brooklyn Technical School. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Flag Burning Justifies Hate Crime Charges?

While there’s no excuse for arson of any kind, it seems odd that she was specifically charged with a hate crime.

The Supreme Court has confirmed that burning an American flag is protected speech and not a crime. This flag was private property however, which carries different implications.

It’s unlikely that had she burned the stars and stripes, she’d have received hate crime enhancements.

Protecting private property and damage is obviously the top priority, but would she get the same charges if, for example, she’d targeted a flag flying outside of a church?

Doesn’t seem particularly likely, does it.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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