A group of Milwaukee cops picked up a damaged flag and folded it ceremoniously after it had been burned by a protester. The incident occurred outside of the Republican presidential nominee debate in the downtown area of the city, according to the MPD Facebook page.
NBC Milwaukee reports that a large group of protesters were there to fight for a $15 minimum wage in the state. Just after 7 p.m. on November 10, the day before Veteran’s Day, Reuters reporter Brendan O’Brien posted a photo of the burned flag on Twitter:
The burning of the flag is protected by the first amendment. An official statement from the Milwaukee police read:
Milwaukee Police Officers Joel Rossman, Jedidiah Thompson and Jutiki X gave honors to a flag tattered and burned by a protester.
This evening brought thousands to downtown Milwaukee for the theater, basketball game and the debate. During one demonstration, a protester set an American Flag on fire.
Milwaukee Police Officers, seeing the burning flag in the crowd, immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. The plume from the fire extinguisher prompted reports of tear gas being used. These reports were false.
The flag was taken to be inventoried for possible charges against the protester.
Milwaukee police officers later conducted a small, dignified ceremony to properly fold the flag before placing it on inventory.