During dueling protests outside Republican President Donald Trump’s speech to Michigan auto workers Wednesday, a University of Michigan graduate student was detained by police after ripping an American flag from a Trump supporter’s trailer.
Lena Amick, 26, told WWJ-TV that she did the deed “out of frustration for the fascism that’s taking over this country. And the police immediately jumped on me and were ready to detain me.”
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Flores told MLive that Amick damaged the circular red, white and blue flag while pulling it off the trailer, which — perhaps not coincidentally — came equipped with a PA system that often drowned out the protesters’ chants.
Amick insisted her actions are nothing compared to what the anti-Trump protesters are concerned about.
“It’s definitely frustrating to see how in this country … not to advocate for property destruction in any way … that something like that is taken so much more seriously than the destruction of lives,” she told the station.
One of Amick’s allies had a different take, saying the “flag was not destroyed” as fellow protesters were heard chanting, “Let Lena go!”
More from MLive:
Amick appeared to be among the throngs of demonstrators who chanted “love trumps hate” in opposition to Trump, and could be seen verbally arguing with Trump supporter Rob Cortis of Livonia before police separated them, according to an MLive photographer at the scene.
Cortis said he was attempting to leave the area when he saw Amick, who he’d previously spoken with, in his rearview mirror tearing down a half-round bunting flag on his trailer. He believes his rights were violated and is seeking charges, he said.
“Why should she rip down my American flag and destroy it?” Cortis asked the outlet. “What good does that do anybody?”
Amick was taken into the back of a sheriff’s vehicle afterward, MLive said, and it was soon surrounded by protesters until a SWAT team got in their way.
Flores told the outlet that police intend to submit a charge of malicious destruction of property to the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.
When Amick was asked if she was in the wrong, she told WWJ, “I did something that one could press charges against technically, because to pull a flag off of something is a destruction of private property.”
The WWJ reporter replied, “All’s well that ends well.”