ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan graduate student Lena Amick said she ripped an American flag off a Trump supporter’s trailer because she was “frustrated at not being heard.”
“It was impulsive and in frustration at feeling not heard in this country,” Amick told CBS Detroit. “And then the police came and said ‘Do you want to go to jail?’ and I said, ‘No’ … or I don’t remember what I said. And then when I asked, ‘Am I being arrested?’ he asked, ‘Do you want to be arrested?’”
The altercation occurred during a clash between Trump-supporters and protesters in the bitter cold outside of a hanger in Ypsilanti where Trump spoke to autoworkers Wednesday.
Police told Mlive.com they witnessed the 26-year-old Amick rip a bunting-style flag from Livonia resident Rob Cortis’ “Trump Unity Bridge” – a trailer he decorated and armed with a PA system to drown out protesters. Cortis told the news site he had previously spoken with Amick before he watched her rip the flag off the float in his rearview mirror as he drove by. Amick allegedly damaged the flag in the process, and Cortis is now pressing for criminal charges.
“Why should she rip down my American flag and destroy it?” Cortis questioned. “What good does that do anybody?”
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Flores confirmed the altercation took place around 2:45 Wednesday and police on scene detained Amick briefly in a sheriff’s vehicle to get her information.
“… The police immediately jumped on me and were ready to detain me,” Amick told CBS Detroit.
Flores said anti-Trump protestors descended on the vehicle as an officer questioned Amick, forcing SWAT to usher them away.
Police plan to submit a request for a charge of malicious destruction of property to the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney, but Amick was not arrested, he said.
Cortis told Mlive a different protester ripped another flag from his trailer earlier in the day but it was later returned with an apology.
He said hauled the “Trump Unity Bridge” to Ypsilanti with a small group of Trump supporters to encourage people from political persuasions to work together.
“It’s sad,” he said of the flag incidents. “I really want America to be stronger.”
Amick, meanwhile, has attempted to downplay her bad behavior by comparing it to the “destruction of lives” brought on by “fascism that’s taking over this country.”
“It’s definitely frustrating to see how in this country … not to advocate property destruction in any way, particularly in this instance, but that something like that is taken so much more seriously than the destruction of lives,” she said.
“I did do something that one could press charges against, technically,” she said. “To pull a flag off something is destruction of private property.”