A homeless man has raised more than $1,000 online to help pay for the expected fines he'll get for taking a photo of himself with his pants down in the Hawthorne public library pretending to defecate on the American flag.
A summons accuses Michael Brown of “a flagrantly lewd and offensive act” for “exposing his buttocks and squatting over an American flag,” according to the 56-year-old folk singer, who has a host of social media pages and posts videos singing with his guitar.
"I'm a free expression guy," Brown wrote on Facebook. "I don't usually do deliberate provocation but I thought this was funny."
Some don't agree at all.
"Sorry I don’t support this. And I don’t support people that think this is cool and edgy," one man wrote to Brown on Facebook.
Another added: "Way to go, stoner."
Brown, who has replied to the criticism with profanity and threats, is also charged with possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia – “my sweet glass pipe,” as he calls it.
“I've been homeless for awhile after some traumatic violence and other fairly serious misfortunes and I have 12 cents in my bank account,” he posted on a GoFundMe account that he created for himself under his pen name, Mikedelic Brownage (Brown also uses the handle on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Patreon and elsewhere).
“I want money to pay my fine for disorderly lewd conduct and possession of paraphernalia and to relocate to a home after living on the streets,” Brown wrote.
Brown -- who posted a YouTube video of himself singing a new composition two weeks ago -- says he’s “been writing and doing music a while and I'm very devoted and productive but make very little money.
“I'm asking for five thousand dollars based on what I think fines and travel will cost, as well as making sure I have a little Murphy's Law money,” he added. “I also need clothes and actually need a lot of dental work. I pulled one of my own impacted wisdom teeth last year….”
Brown said he researched the charges against him and discovered that the maximum fine is $1,000, “so we're already in that range of funds, which is great.”
However, he said, it will likely be higher “because of the additional charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and the provocative nature of the act."
At the same time, Brown wrote, he's "been using the money to live off of so I bought some socks and hygiene products and have been eating regularly. I stopped stealing food because if I get caught now I'll get in a lot more trouble bc I have these other charges.”
Brown – who those who know him say has lived in Ridgewood and recently with his father in Fair Lawn -- says he only wants to "raise fine money and travel fare to North Carolina, where I'll have a place to live and do creative work and will have better quality of life than I've had in years I think.
“I'm still really productive, I have a big part of a draft of a new novel done but am making music now and am very inspired and productive, and have been talking to a record company executive who I'm hoping will be interested,” he wrote.
“I need to keep raising money though because I need to eat (I eat cheap and stuff but I can't cook anything bc homeless etc, I'm living in a public bathroom basically) and like hang out at coffee shops and stuff,” Brown said.
“I mean this is already more than I could have hoped for,” he added, “but I want to raise more.”
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