Criminal charges have been dropped against a Christian man who preached the Gospel in public this month at an LGBT event in Pennsylvania, and now many are calling for charges and lawsuits to be filed against the police who made the arrest.
As WND reported, Damon Atkins was arrested June 3 by Sgt. Bradly T. McClure on disorderly conduct charges after voicing biblical opposition to the Pride event in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The event was all caught on video.
But once prosecutors examined the video, Berks County authorities announced the dismissal of the charges against Atkins.
“After a review of the incident which took place on June 3, 2023, in the 800 block of Washington Street in the City of Reading, the District Attorney’s Office has withdrawn the charges of disorderly conduct filed against Damon Atkins,” the office said. “The charges were withdrawn after the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the videos of the incident along with applicable case law.”
But with a perceived violation of Atkins’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of worship, public reaction is fierce against police in Reading.
Comments posted on the district attorney’s own Facebook page include:
“That sergeant lied on his arrest affidavit after blatantly violating Damon Atkins’ constitutional rights. He should be charged locally (by your office) and/or federally (by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division). Regardless of criminal prosecution, I hope Damon Atkins makes an example for others by filing a Section 1983 suit in federal court against the city and police department.”
“When are you bringing charges against the little tubby officer with an overexaggerated sense of self-importance and apparently a massive chip on his shoulder, and the two ‘females’ that felt that harassing and manhandling a citizen on public property … after 60 seconds of ‘existing’ (doing nothing wrong)? When are these (hopefully soon to be ex-)cops going to be educated that their views and opinions don’t trump the law, and since they’re law enforcement, and can’t seem to handle themselves or follow the law … they’re going to be given ‘opportunities’ to find other employment? This is inexecusable …we all know it.”
“What a load of horse doo doo. Everyone and their mother clearly saw that man did absolutely nothing. There was no need to review or do anything. Your police officers knowingly and willing violated their oath! That was caught on camera. Did you investigate that crime? Did you review that crime? How about the two female officers who assisted. Guilty by association. They had every opportunity to correct their follow officer and stop a situation from escalating and they stood there and watched. So I believe you do have a crime on your tapes. It’s your officers and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! Because if it was anyone else … you would be all over that like white on rice…. this is a pure overreach of power and they know it. They are just trying to minimize this as quickly as possible to avoid the media … read the LAW people. Clearly there is a crime here but it wasn’t the gentleman arrested. I rest my case!”
“Mr. Atkins should sue. Has the officer been fired and publicly reprimanded?”
“So what’s gonna happen to the officer who was on a power trip? NOTHING!”
“Has the sergeant been put on suspension for false arrest? Did he get a rip for it? I have respect for all police officers until they start throwin their weight around actin like a big bad boy. Suspension without pay. Hope that Damon throws the book at Reading City and the police department on this.”
“This police officer made a false statement, lied, and tried to send an innocent man to jail while violating his first amendment protections in deference to the leftist cult who seem to rule the application of law. I hope you get sued into oblivion.”
“It is truly sad watching all of these videos of the police violating the Constitution and the oath they take. What is very disturbing in the top cop (police chief) defending this officer’s unlawful actions.”
“In the video you’ll see the officer waiting for Atkins to even utter one word and when he did, he immediately rushed over to cuff Atkins. When Atkins began to again speak to the demonstrators, the cop immediately yanked him hard, back and up against the brick wall. The officer clearly was gagging Atkins, denying him free speech.”
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“Sorry but this officer needs to be suspended and go through proper training and Atkins not only needs to sue the City and the Policy department but this officer specifically for violating his Civil rights. This has got to stop. The Gestapo need to be reeled in before it gets worse.”
“‘The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.’ – Article 1 sec 7 Penn. Constitution. Law applies equally on both sides of the street.”
“I support law enforcement but this was not law enforcement. This officer needs to be reprimanded and retrained.”
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IMPORTANT NOTE: “Election denier!” “Science denier!” “Climate-change denier!” “Conspiracy theorist!” And then there’s “hate speech,” “fake news,” “disinformation,” “misinformation,” even something called “MALinformation.” A bizarre new lexicon has been conjured up by America’s elites, the SOLE PURPOSE of which is to discredit and ridicule – and if at all possible, CENSOR ENTIRELY – speech that doesn’t support their increasingly dark and deranged agenda. Tucker Carlson is just the latest.
In the greatest imaginable irony, the nation once boasting the most robust culture of freedom of speech and the press – undergirded by the strongest constitutional protections for those rights – is now ground zero for a total war on free expression.
How could this possibly happen in the United States of America? It’s all explained as never before in the sensational new issue of WND’s critically acclaimed WHISTLEBLOWER magazine, titled “THE ELITES’ ALL-OUT WAR ON FREE SPEECH.” WHISTLEBLOWER is available in both the popular print edition and a state-of-the-art digital version, either single issues or discounted annual subscriptions.
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