A trans woman who made national news after she were arrested at Philly Pride for trying to burn a ‘pro-cop’ flag on June 10 wants all charges against her dropped and for Philadelphia police to stop providing security at the annual LGBT pride event.
The DA’s office previously dropped felony charges of causing or risking a catastrophe and attempted arson against ReeAnna Segin, 18, of Woodbine, NJ after “additional investigation,” she said. Segin remains charged and scheduled for trial on charges of possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.
Segin, a member of the Philly Socialist Alternative, said attempting to burn the flag was an act of First Amendment-protected free speech.
“Black Lives Matter exists to validate black people’s lives. But Blue Lives Matter only exists to invalidate black people’s lives,” she said at the rally.
Segin and supporters were highly critical of the fact that she were detained on $5,000 bail at Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility, and said she opposed the presence of police at Pride.
“If the police are only at Pride to protect us, why would she put trans women in men’s prisons?” she asked at the rally. “The police are an oppressive force and nothing more. We need to return Pride to its radical roots and make it a display of righteous queer anger.”
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. She had an American flag designed with blue stripes, sometimes referred to as a Blue Lives Matter flag and typically used as a pro-police symbol. She also reportedly had two flares in their backpack along with a lighter, the DA’s office said.
Segin was detained overnight until June 11, after supporters including members of the Philly Socialists, Philly for REAL Justice, and Black and Brown Workers group posted their bail on June 11 and she were released later that day.
“The fact that a young woman’s journey to Pride ended up with her being incarcerated for 24 hours in a men’s prison shows how much work we have left to do,” the Philly Socialist Alternative said in a statement, which demanded the dropping of all charges and retraining of police in non-violent, de-escalation tactics.
The D.A.’s office declined to comment on Segin’s case as it remains pending.