NJ woman arrested trying to burn ‘thin blue line’ flag at Philly Pride
PHILADELPHIA — A woman attending the Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade has been arrested after trying to light a flag on fire before the event started, police said.
A person identified by authorities as Woodbine resident Ryan Segin, 18, was arrested just after noon on Sunday attempting to lite a "thin blue line" American flag on fire, according to a statement from Philadelphia police. According to PhillyVoice.com, citing supporters' messages, Ryan is Segin's "deadname" — the name a trans person was assigned at birth but no longer uses.
The flag looks very similar to a regular American flag, except it is mostly black and white with a blue stripe just under the stars. It is meant to show support for police and law enforcement.
Pictures of Segin being taken into custody were shared by a photographer for WHYY. In the pictures, she can be seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandanna partially covering her face. NJ.com reported that Segin had attempted to pour lighter fluid on the flag before lighting it, and that police were able to stop her before the flag could be lit.
The ABC affiliate in Philadelphia also shared video of Segin begin taken into custody, as well as the flag and materials she was allegedly planning to use to start the fire.
Philadelphia police, in an email to New Jersey 101.5 said she was "not arrested for burning any specific flag" but was charged with arson-attempt to commit, causing/risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses by the District's Attorney's office. She was being held at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
A Facebook page called Philly Socialists described Segin as a "comrade" and was posting updates on her case, as well as raising money for bail and other expenses. It said police had "no place" at an event like Pride.
"This is awful that a trans person would be forcibly removed from Pride and that they used state sanctioned violence to do so," the group said in a post. "It just goes to show who these pride events are really for."
New Jersey 101.5 did not know as of Monday evening what bail had been set for Segin or if she had an attorney to speak on her behalf.