A 75-year-old U.S. Army veteran has been acquitted on charges of illegally posting an American flag on the fence of a Los Angeles VA facility. Bob Rosebrock initially faced a federal misdemeanor charge for displaying an American flag without permission on the fence outside the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs facility during a protest of the VA’s treatment of homeless veterans. A VA statute bans people from posting “placards” or other materials on a VA property, except when authorized by the head of the facility. Rosebrock, who served in the Army from 1965 to 1967, and his attorney, Robert Sticht, joined Steve Doocy on “Fox & Friends” this morning.
“I just wanted to display [it], in honor of all the veterans who have served our country over the last 240 years and also in honor of of veterans who are inside that VA trying to heal from defending the American flag,” Rosebrock said. He explained that for years he and other veterans have placed flags on a fence near the entrance to the facility to draw attention to the VA’s mistreatment of homeless vets. He said that on Memorial Day 2016 a VA police officer issued him a citation for placing two napkin-sized flags on the fence, and he ended up in federal court for his patriotic gesture. Sticht explained that U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim found Rosebrock not guilty of the violation, which carries a maximum six-month prison sentence.
He said Kim concluded that no evidence was presented showing Rosebrock lacked permission to post the flags or even that he was the person who displayed them in the first place. “When we went to trial Tuesday, the government couldn’t really even make its case,” Sticht said. Rosebrock said he will not hesitate to hang a flag at the facility again. “It would be so anti-American not to,” he said. “In the military, we defend that American flag. And if we don’t have that freedom, then we don’t have America anymore.”
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