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Police share Facebook video of man burning American flag at Walmart: 'This country hates you'

The police posted an “offensive” Facebook video of a man burning the American flag in a Walmart parking lot on the Fourth of July.
“This country f****ing hates you. It wouldn’t give a s*** if you died,” said Mitchell Lee Stauffer, 23, in footage shared by the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Department in Yorktown, VA. A witness who filmed Stauffer’s rant had included his license plate number.
The man was arrested on Thursday for “burning an object in a public place with the intent to intimidate.” Police said on Facebook that Stauffer drove to Walmart on George Washington Memorial Highway, tossed the flag on the pavement, and soaked it in gasoline. He set it on fire and drove away.



Police wrote that Stauffer was not arrested for burning the American flag — a 1989 Supreme Court ruling allows such “symbolic speech” under the First Amendment. His crime was burning the object in a public space with “intent to intimidate.”
“The burning of our great American Flag is very offensive to most people including me,” Sheriff Diggs said on Facebook. “That being said, the courts have ruled that act alone is an expression of free speech and not per se illegal. This charge is appropriate under the Code of Virginia. It is fortunate that no one was injured today.”

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