The star of a viral video who stole a Confederate flag from a Florida man’s home is to be charged by police – so long as they can find him – which won’t be very difficult since his face has been seen by millions of people on the Internet.
The video – uploaded by Jamari Williams – has been viewed over 4 million times. It shows a man running up to a home and leaping to snatch a Confederate flag before he returns to a vehicle which immediately speeds away from the scene.
The clip is part of the #NoFlagginChallenge Twitter trend which encourages people to steal Confederate flags – violating both private property rights and free speech. Such behavior has been given legitimacy by weeks of media coverage denouncing the controversial flag as a symbol of racism.
“The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement that a resident has come forward saying their house is the one in the video, and encouraged people to contact them with information on the suspect who snatched the flag,” reports NBC.
According to police, the individual will be charged with petty theft once he is found.
“The person who did it didn’t seem to care one iota that it was going to be out there. It certainly gives us a little bit of an advantage in an investigation when you’ve got it right there on video,” said David Bristow of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The homeowner – Robin Eaker – told NBC 8 that he didn’t even report the theft to police until a neighbor told him about the viral video.
“It’s not really about what was taken, or who took it. It’s about criminals that want to put it on the internet and get hits,” said Eaker, adding that he won’t even put the flag back up because it’s only likely to be stolen again.
Perhaps Eaker should count himself lucky that he is not being charged simply for displaying the flag on his own property.
Last week, Massachusetts Professor Nick Bromell argued that any display of the Confederate flag, “was a hate crime and should be punished as such.”
After Bromell received a barrage of criticism reminding him of a little thing called the First Amendment, the professor realized what a monumental idiot he was and changed his mind.
“I was entirely wrong to assert that display of the flag should be “considered a hate crime and punished as such.” That goes against my own belief in free speech as protected by the Constitution,” wrote Bromell.
Meanwhile, the #NoFlagginChallenge Twitter trend continues to attract morons who are putting themselves at risk of being shot dead.
There were two separate incidents in Anderson County, South Carolina this past weekend where Confederate flags were stolen from a house and a vehicle.
Jodie Mae summed up the mood of many on Twitter who are speaking out against the trend.
"Stop stereotyping black people as criminals" You're literally stealing peoples property as a protest. Are you dense? #noflaggingchallenge
— Jodie Mae (@PlnkRlbbonScars) July 14, 2015