URBANA, Ill. (AP) - Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz had just finished walking in a July 4th parade when her assistant told her a central Illinois man had been arrested on suspicion of burning an American flag.

Rietz said she knew "immediately" that the Urbana Police Department needed to release Bryton Mellott, who posted a video of the act on Facebook and whom police initially said they arrested to protect from threats. The state law used to jail him, though clear in its prohibition of desecrating either the U.S. or state flags, is unconstitutional.

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