Preacher Not Guilty For Reading Aloud the Bible Outside DMV, Court Rules
Jan 16, 2017 10:03 AM EST
A preacher who were arrested for reading the Bible outside a state government building have been found not guilty. A federal appeals judge have ruled the case of lacking probable cause of arrest.
Calvary Church pastor, Mark Allen Mackey, was reading the Bible outside a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in the city of Hemet on February 2, 2011. He was asked to leave by a security guard. As he didn't, a Highway Patrol officer, Darren Meyer arrived at the vicinity, arresting Mackey at immediate interest of a California law (California Penal Code Section 602.1) that prohibits intentional interference with lawful businesses or occupation open to the public.
Mackey was later charged of not having a permit for demonstrations or gathering on a state property under California Code of Regulations (Title 13, 1860a) despite being cleared of any account of wrongdoings. In reply, Mackey had sued Meyer, on the basis that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was arrested by Meyer for preaching without a permit outside the Hemet DMV.
Meyer claimed that Mackey's out loud preaching led to verbal disputes with people who were queuing up to enter the office. But the video and footage of the incident proved that there was nothing of any sort of confrontation with the DMV.
"You've been asked to leave, and you didn't," Meyer said while arresting Mackey. Meyer, who repeatedly said that the preacher couldn't preach there because people at the DMV were a captive audience, was considered to have lacked qualified immunity by the judges. They mentioned, that as a matter of fact, Mackey is in the supposed position to pursue damages for false arrest and imprisonment. The judges continued to say that Meyer had no evidence that the preacher was intentionally interfering with the DMV before the time of his arrival.
"Folks, this is what the United States is coming to," Mackey said as he came out of the ruling. "You can talk about anything you want, but you can't talk about the Bible."
Mackey is cleared of the accusative criminal charges brought against him. However, the case isn't over as the ruling still awaits a district court decision.