We're getting reports from our Eyes downtown that Peter Ryan Lynch has been found guilty for misdemeanor destruction of property. The sentencing is supposed to take place later today and our Eye tell us that Mr. Lynch faces a fine and up to 6 months in jail for his actions.
We have no doubt that Mr. Lynch destroyed the Mexican flag - he admitted as much. What astounds us is the fact that The Center of the Race (El Centro de la Raza) and the UNM ROTC are utterly incapable of taking any responsibility for the incident. Both organizations directly contributed to inciting Mr. Lynch by failing to live up to their respective responsibilities - the ROTC for not removing the Mexican flag when The Center of the Race failed to show up to do so, and The Center of the Race for not showing up in the first place.
It's too bad that a Mexican flag met an early demise, but it leaves you asking the question - if Mr. Lynch had destroyed Old Glory would he have been prosecuted at all. Something is very, very wrong here and it goes far beyond the torn fabric of another nation's flag.
770 KKOB is reporting that Peter Ryan Lynch has been sentenced to 48 hours of community service, court fees of some unspecified amount and to replace the Mexican flag - which he had already offered to do. We've got a great idea... Perhaps, Mr. Lynch could spend some time teaching patriotism to children. You know, love of country, respect for our flag, and dedication to duty.
For some reason there has been some confusion about Mr. Lynch's sentence. Our Eyes tell us that the sentence is 48 hours of community service (agency eligible) and $71 in court fees. The replacement of the Mexican flag was part of a preexisting agreement with the university. The conviction itself will be expunged from Lynch's record if he stays out of trouble for 6 months. One other item... we're not hearing anything about anger management class as part of the sentence.
Our question is if Lynch had already agreed to replace the flag, why did the UNM Police and the District Attorney's Office feel the need to get involved and prosecute? In our opinion, The Center of the Race missed a golden opportunity by not accepting an apology and a new flag. Instead they called for hate crimes prosecution and insisted on prosecution.