Simply for Reading the Bible,
Ina Public Parking lot in California!
Do Christians have ANY Freedoms left?
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AMERIPEDIA™ - American Police Arrest Preacher for Reading Bible in California!
Brett Coronado, Mark Mackey and Edmond Flores, Jr., all residents of Hemet, went to the Department of Motor Vehicles at 1200 S. State St. to take care of their license renewal, etc. Traffic was not to bad and they arrived a bit early to get in line, sometime after 8 a.m. on Feb. 2, 2011. The DMV opened at 9:00 a.m.
All three attend the same local Church, Calvary Chapel, and not wanting to waste their time, one of the three (the Minister) had a little bible with him, which Mark Mackey began to read quietly, but loud enough so the other two could hear.
They were standing at least 50 feet away from the entrance, of the DMV, by a little planter in the parking lot. They were soon arrested and in custody!
A security video of the arrest shows a security guard told the men they needed to go somewhere else if they were going to read the Bible.
They didn't leave, and they didn't quit reading the Bible, quietly, and minding their own business
Shortly after, a California Highway Patrol [CHP] officer pulled up, walked over to the men, took the Bible out of Mackey's hands and put handcuffs on him.
At the time of the arrest, they were still standing at least 50 feet away from the entrance, and the DMV was still closed. CHP Officer Darren Meyer told Mackey he could preach anywhere he wanted, but not at the DMV. [Isn't that statement "self-contradicting?"]
Coronado and Flores were arrested shortly after Mackey - even though they weren't the ones committing the terrible crime of reading the Bible in public, . . .
. . . and all three men were taken into CHP Custody where they were still held in handcuffs - as if they were violent - according to a complaint filed by their attorneys, Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
Neither Coronado nor Flores read the Bible out loud anywhere on DMV premises, their attorneys claim: just Mackey, quietly, and for a very few minutes.
This "CRIME - READING A HOLY BIBLE QUIETLY IN PUBLIC IN A DISTANT PARKING LOT" - is punishable by a $400 fine, or jail time. The Riverside County District Attorney has not filed papers as yet, so the punishment is uncertain.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom filed a complaint April 25 with the United States District Court in Riverside, alleging the federal and state constitutional rights of the three men were violated when they were arrested unlawfully.
"We look at it as this is the United States of America and it was obvious that this officer acted before he thought," said Bob Tyler, one of the attorneys representing the men.
According to a news release from Advocates for Faith & Freedom, the men believed that they had a First Amendment right to free speech as they were standing in a planter within the parking lot and were located on public property.
At the time of the arrest of these men, the DMV was closed, and they were standing at least 50 feet away from the entrance, he said.
"Whether this was an intentional violation of our clients' constitutional liberty or whether this was an act of ignorance on the part of the CHP, this lawsuit is important in order to preserve the liberty to read the Bible aloud on public property without fear of criminal prosecution,” Tyler said.
Lt. Michael Soubirous, of the San Gorgonio Pass CHP Station, which oversees the Hemet area, said during a phone interview, the CHP had not yet been served papers in the lawsuit. The CHP has jurisdiction over state-owned property such as DMV offices, Soubirous said.
Soubirous said the men did not have a permit to "speak" there, which is required on state property for anything other than the intended business.
"... they have to get a permit to go out and preach," Soubirous said. "There is a mechanism to be allowed to protest..."
> FACT: Quietly reading a Bible is neither a SPEECH of persuasion or information, NOR "PREACHING" which is informing or persuading;
> FACT: Quietly reading a Bible is NOT a protest against anything, thus requires no permit!
> FACT: The First Bill of Right says the Freedom of Speech shall NOT be ABRIDGED! (infringed, restricted, etc.),
Soubirous said he believes the group was aware of the permitting process He added that the same principles apply to a DMV office as do at the State Capitol building, which is also under the jurisdiction of CHP.
Hemet Church Members Sue CHP Over Bible-Reading Arrest at DMV;
Pastor Brett Coronado, Mark Mackey and Edmond Flores, Jr., residents of Hemet, were arrested outside the Department of Motor Vehicles at 1200 S. State St. just after 8 a.m. on Feb. 2.
Members of Calvary Chapel Hemet are suing the California Highway Patrol.
The crime they charged the men with was a bill that was passed to protect business owners from protesters who block the entrances of their building, Penal Code Section 602.1.
According to California Penal Code 602.1 (b), the offense is listed as:
> "intentionally interfering with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public,
> by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business,
> or those persons there to transact business with the public agency,
> and who refuses to leave the premises of the public agency after being requested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency,
> or by a peace officer acting at the request of the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency."
However, this gentleman was just standing outside reading his Bible aloud quietly. Again, the video shows at the time of arrest, they were standing more than 50 feet from the entrance of the building.
However, our U.S. Constitution, that GUARANTEES EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW, is exempted in this code as follows: If the man was a member of a labor union, he could rightfully block the entrance without fear of arrest!
> The law doesn’t apply to union members, just Bible readers, soul-winners, or Christians caring about their neighbors!
The actual Penal code continues to read:
Penal Code Section 602.1.
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