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A Black Lives Matter organizer is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing flags during a pro-Trump caravan, reports say

July 22, 2020
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Jonathan Gartrelle (L), participating in a protest against police brutality, confronts a demonstrator taking part in a counter demonstration advertised as a Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Protests continue in cities throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25th.
Jonathan Gartrelle (L), participating in a protest against police brutality, confronts a demonstrator taking part in a counter demonstration advertised as a Law and Order Rally that was also supporting President Donald Trump on June 14, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Protests continue in cities throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25th.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • A Miami Black Lives Matter protest organizer is facing felony charges after he was accused of stealing flags from a car during a “Cubans for Trump” caravan. 

  • Jonathan Gartrelle is being charged with two felonies; strong-arm robbery and escape, as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting an officer without violence and obstructing a public street, according to the Miami Herald. 

  • Gartelle told the Miami Herald that the charges were “overblown,” adding, “Their goal is to have me in jail for two weeks, get beaten up by some officers, and distract from the movement.”

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Miami protester is accused of stealing flags from a car during a pro-Trump caravan event that occurred last Saturday, according to The Miami Herald.

According to a police report obtained by Insider, Jonathan Gartrelle, a Black Lives Matter organizer in Miami, is charged with two felonies: strong-arm robbery and escape. He is also charged with resisting an officer, obstructing a public street, and criminal mischief.

At a “Cubans for Trump” caravan, an event planned to “support police and law and order,” an officer observed Gartrelle preventing traffic on the road, the report from the Miami Police Department said. The officer also saw Gartrelle “removing flags fixed to passing vehicles, damaging them and discarding them in the roadway,” the report said.

The officer then tried to arrest Gartrelle, but he was able to escape, according to the police. The officer said Gartelle removed his garments to disguise himself in the crowd of protestors.

According to the police report, a witness who was in the passenger seat of a white vehicle was able to identify Gartrelle to the police and said a flag was “ripped” from their hand as it was waved out of the passenger side window. The witness stated that Gartelle “attacked them for no reason,” the report said.

Gartrelle was arrested on Monday after he was identified due to his posts on Instagram, where he provided commentary on the incidents. Gartrelle also posted about organizing a rally in front of the Miami Police Department to demand an investigation into a “possibly fatal hit-and-run.”

At the event on Saturday, Gartrelle had told an officer on scene that he had been hit by a vehicle during the caravan event after he walked in front of it. But according to the police report, Gartrelle didn’t “want to do anything” after disclosing the incident.

Gartrelle did not want to press charges, a spokeswoman for the Miami police, Kiara Delva, told the Miami Herald.

However, since the incident, he has been demanding justice.

On Monday, Gartrelle was spotted and arrested before the rally, according to a petition demanding the police “investigate the assailants who attempted to harm him immediately.” The petition is also demanding the officers involved to be held accountable for his “unlawful targeting and arrest.”

According to the police report, officers who attempted to arrest Gartrelle had previously come in contact with him “since the first protests began on May 30, 2020 and multiple protests the defendant attended thereafter.” 

According to the Miami Herald, Gartrelle was released on bond Tuesday.

Gartrelle told the newspaper that the charges against him were “overblown,” saying he took two flags from parked cars and threw them on the ground, but did not steal them. 

“Their goal is to have me in jail for two weeks, get beaten up by some officers, and distract from the movement,” Gartrelle said, according to the outlet. 

Jonathan Gartrelle did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Read the original article on Insider

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