A Black Lives Matter activist in Charleston, South Carolina, has been arrested for disorderly conduct after he leapt over police tape to grab a Confederate flag from a man live on television.
The entire incident was caught by news cameras in downtown Charleston on Wednesday, with the man seen performing a running jump to capture the flag since identified as Muhiyidin Moye, report WCSC TV.
A WCS TV news journalist was speaking to camera outside the Sottile Theater when Moye ran across the street to take a Confederate flag being waved by another man, believed to be part of the “southern heritage” Secessionist Party.
Moye was subsequently tackled to the ground by police. The Black Lives Matter activist has since been charged with disorderly conduct for his actions, according to a Charleston Police Department statement.
The arrest came as members of Black Lives Matter and the Secessionist Party, who last week papered parts of Charleston with the controversial ‘Flag of Dixie’, came face to face outside the theater.
James Bessinger, founder of the Secessionist Party, has defended the rebel symbol by saying that making the flag a racial issue is “ingenious.”
The groups had gathered outside the venue ahead of a talk by filmmaker Brittany Newsome entitled ‘Tearing Hatred From the Sky’, which touched upon the Confederate flag’s use by white supremacists.
Newsome rose to prominence after removing the Confederate flag from a 30ft (9 meter) flagpole outside the South Carolina statehouse in 2015.
Charleston’s Secessionist Party have been a staunch advocate of flying the Confederate flag in South Carolina. The group has referred to Black Lives activists as the “faces of cultural genocide” and last week organized a ‘Grand Flagging’ in parts of Charleston.
The event prompted the City of Charleston to ask people to refrain from such practices.
“Obviously, the misuse of city garages to fly various flags and banners was unexpected,” said Charleston city spokesman Jack O’Toole. “This notice makes it clear that city garages are for parking, not for these types of public displays, and it applies to any and every one equally.”