Thursday, August 01, 2013

Police Steal Preacher's Amplifier to Shut Him Up

Aaron Brummitt was preaching the Gospel in downtown Springfield, Missouri on the day of the annual beer festival, but police showed up and confiscated his Bible tracts, other materials and speaking equipment with no explanation. Brummitt uses a decibel meter (also taken by police) to ensure he's not exceeding the noise ordinance. In a video of the incident, it's hard to hear Brummitt's pleading to the police because the festival is simply too loud!

For background, read Pastor Arrested in California for Reading Bible in Public and also read Jesus Talk Outlawed in New Orleans, Arrests Made as well as Christians Arrested for Standing in Public with Sign

In addition, read the myriad instances of Christians arrested for speaking the Truth.

UPDATE 10/8/13: Brummit and two other Christians robbed, handcuffed and arrested by police (see excerpts below from latest article)

-- From "Missouri street preacher says he’s being silenced for views" by The Associated Press 7/28/13

Footage captured by a partner, Dennis Vance, shows at least four Springfield police officers cutting locks securing Brummitt’s equipment to a nearby street sign and moving it into the trunk of a nearby patrol car.

Brummitt denies that his amplifier violates the city’s 75-decible noise limit — it’s 100 decibels for special events with permits, measured at 50 feet from the stage — but he told police who were carrying away his equipment July 20 that the band right next door was too loud.

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said Brummitt was repeatedly issued warnings that he ignored and that Brummitt’s evidence [of viewpoint discrimination] is unfounded.

Brummitt’s attorney, Dee Wampler, said he has written the city manager and chief of police twice “in an effort to mediate Aaron’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.” He said he had received no response.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Officers seize street preacher's equipment" by Thomas Gounley, Ozarks News-Leader 7/27/13

“Concerts and permitted events are an entirely different situation than a private individual in public,” Williams said.

Brummitt told the News-Leader in April that he has asked for a special permit, but has been denied. He said he was told in an email by a city staff member that he did not need a permit to preach downtown as long as he did not obstruct pedestrian traffic, kept the noise level to 75 decibels and didn’t use city power; he maintains he meets all those conditions to this day.

. . . He also contends he was not given any documents, for example, a receipt or copy of a warrant. As his equipment is placed in the car, Brummitt can be heard in the video asking why the musical acts weren’t cited for exceeding the 100-decibel limit. He did not receive a response; the officers were all business.

“We now have evidence to show this discrimination,” Brummitt said on Friday.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Street Pastor's Bible, Amplifier Confiscated" posted at 7/30/13

"Yes, we filed the charges but there are citizens who are claiming he is disturbing their peace. So, it doesn't matter what he is saying -- the issue is how loud it's being said," Dan Wichmer, Springfield City attorney, said

. . . he still hasn't gotten his Bible and equipment back.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 10/8/13: Street preacher, cops clash again by Jess Rollins, Springfield News-Leader

When officers reached for a donated set of equipment Friday [10/4/13], Brummitt sat on the amp. A woman refused to let go of a speaker. . . .

[Now,] at least two conservative groups and a sitting city councilman [Doug Burlison] have called for an inquiry into the arrests.

. . . police initiated action against Brummitt’s group only after a resident claimed his peace was disturbed and sought to press charges.

. . . officials say it was Tom Billionis, owner of The Coffee Ethic, who said the volume of Brummitt’s amplified proselytizing was causing complaints and eventually forcing patrons to leave the Springfield Jazz Festival on Park Central Square.

Brummitt is encouraged by his attorney Dee Wampler, who is providing his services for free in part to fulfill his membership obligations to the Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF], formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates in the courtroom for religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage and family.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

The root issue is American Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Christian Totalitarianism