Charges reduced for protester who tried to burn flag at Pride

Felony charges have been dropped against a trans protester who was arrested during the Philly Pride parade for allegedly trying to light a pro-cop flag on fire.

ReeAnna Segin, an 18-year-old trans woman from Woodbine, NJ who was arrested on June 10 in the Gayborhood, and released on bail the following day, will now only face misdemeanor charges for the incident, Philly DA Larry Krasner’s office announced.

The felony charges of causing or risking a catastrophe and attempted arson were withdrawn by prosecutors at a hearing on Wednesday before Judge Patrick Dugan, the DA’s Office said. Segin remains charged and scheduled for trial on charges of possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.

RELATEDTrans woman arrested trying to burn ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag at Philly Pride

“These charges were withdrawn after additional investigation into the incident by the District Attorney’s Office,” the office said in a statement.

Segin reportedly did not actually start a fire, but was about to when police spotted her dousing a flag with an accelerant identified as paint thinner. They had an American flag designed with blue stripes, sometimes referred to as a Blue Lives Matter flag, typically used as a pro-police symbol. They also reportedly had two flares in their backpack along with a lighter, the DA’s office said.

Segin was detained on $5,000 bail. Supporters including members of the Philly Socialists and Philly for REAL Justice group posted their bail on June 11 and they were released later that day. Supporters complained that Segin was detained at Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility, a men’s jail.

“We cannot release much information at this time, but this incident highlights why cops should not be allowed at any Pride parades,” the Philly Socialists, who supported Segin and raised funds for their bail, said in a statement. “As an institution, the police have no place at Pride. Police presence at Pride represents an affront to LGBTQ people and people of color, who daily face threat of unjustified, brutal violence and death at the hands of the police state. We must not forget the courageous work of trans women of color activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, whose actions at Stonewall against the dehumanizing systems of police oppression laid the groundwork for Pride and for the LGBT movement as a whole.”

More from our Sister Sites