|This violates the Flag Code|
Hozza's big offense, from everything I'm able to gather, is that he took down the POW-MIA flag - the same flag he takes home to wash - at the one-flagpole municipal complex so that Syrian Americans could honor their own country. By all accounts, it was down no more than an hour as the Syrian flag was hoisted underneath the Stars and Stripes. This might be a violation of the Flag Code, but the Supreme Court has ruled that no punitive measures may be taken for violations.
The First Amendment happens to be a little more important.
Angry veterans poured in on Monday night, and Hozza's claim that he meant no offense were of no consequence.
As unpleasant as all this sounds, none of the veterans threatened violence. That came from Board President Linda Snyder.
According to reporter Randy Kraft's account, "At one point, as people were yelling at Hozza, Snyder ran her finger across her throat, simulating someone’s throat being cut."
I called around today, and several people who were at that meeting witnessed this astonishingly crude behavior by one elected official towards another.
Mayor Hozza may have made a mistake in lowering the POW-MIA flag, but that pales in comparison to the suggestion that his throat be slit. There were three police officers at that meeting. if any one of them saw it, Snyder should be charged with harassment.
Updated 3:37 pm: Snyder gives Express Times hollow throat-slitting explanation. - The Express Times now has a story about the ugly meeting in Whitehall Township on Monday night. In her initial story, reporter Precious Petty made no mention of a throat-slitting hand gesture, likely because she never witnessed it. But she did note that "Snyder was just as worked up as some of the veterans on hand and did some shouting and interrupting of her own."
Snyder denies making a throat-slitting gesture. "Something like that would never enter my mind," she told Petty. "I know better than that. I've been around too many years."
She is claiming now that she was attempting top cut people off, but as Petty notes in her original report, Snyder was actually whipping up people herself, while simultaneously shouting down those who disagreed with her.
Her explanation rings hollow.
The Express Times has uploaded some of the photos taken of the throat-slitting gesture. I have those as well, and at least one person has video of the incident.