Press Release
July 21, 2009

A musician was arrested at the Cherokee Casino in Catoosa, Okla., last week for allegedly trampling an American flag as part of his act. According to The Tulsa World, the musician was originally charged with treating the U.S. flag with indignity, and the complaint was later amended to outraging public decency.
The arrest of this musician is an unconstitutional violation of his First Amendment rights, backed by settled U.S. Supreme Court precedents.

“I find it surprising that law enforcement would make such a glaring mistake in light of such a well-established line of case law,” said C.S. Thornton, Deputy Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “We are appalled at the actions taken by law enforcement and are calling for the immediate dismissal of any pending charges against Marion Gooding.

“This is a clear violation of Gooding’s First Amendment rights.”