Christian preacher is ARRESTED for quoting Bible verses at crowd gathered for


A Christian street preacher was arrested for protesting an LGBTQ pride event – only for the charges to be thrown out when the local DA agreed that detaining him violated his First Amendment rights.

Damon Atkins, 41, was seen on camera holding a sign at the Pride event on June 3 in the city of Reading that read ‘Jesus said go and sin no more’ and was quoting Bible verses at the marchers. 

Police came over and confronted Atkins, who pointed out that he was on public property. 

The officer can be seen telling him while ‘it is public property’ he should ‘let them have their day’ and ‘respect it’ – referring to those celebrating Pride.

Atkins can be heard replying: ‘Know who’s cheering for us? The people who are in Hell. So you do you and I’m going to do me.’

A Christian preacher was arrested for quoting Bible verses in support of protesters at a Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Pride event but had the case dropped after the district attorney said the cops were in the wrong

A Christian preacher was arrested for quoting Bible verses in support of protesters at a Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Pride event but had the case dropped after the district attorney said the cops were in the wrong

The First Amendment states that: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

Those words guarantee Americans complete freedom of speech and expression, however offensive their words.

Unlike other countries including the UK, the US does not have any hate speech laws, meaning Americans can say whatever they like in public without fear of legal reprisals. 

As the video continues, Atkins can be seen continuing to preach a verse from Corinthians when Officer Bradley McClure is heard saying: ‘That’s it, you’re done’ before putting Atkins into handcuffs. 

Atkins is then taken off and put against a wall to be secured – as applause rings out from people in the background attending the Pride event.

‘I can’t believe this is happening in Reading,’ a person can be heard saying off camera.

Matthew Wear, who took the video, added that it was ‘an incredible providence that the Lord is allowing me to film this.’ 

Reading Police Chief Richard Tornielli said that Atkins was only arrested because he was being ‘disorderly’ and had nothing to do with the content of his speech. 

‘Our officers gave him warnings to cease that behavior as it was disrupting the event that was taking place,’ he told WFMZ

Damon Atkins, 41, was seen on camera holding a sign at the Pride event on June 3 in the city of Reading that read 'Jesus said go and sin no more' and was quoting Bible verses at the marchers

Damon Atkins, 41, was seen on camera holding a sign at the Pride event on June 3 in the city of Reading that read ‘Jesus said go and sin no more’ and was quoting Bible verses at the marchers

Police came over and confronted Atkins, who pointed out that he was on public property but to no avail, as they eventually arrested him

Police came over and confronted Atkins, who pointed out that he was on public property but to no avail, as they eventually arrested him

Atkins is then taken off and put against a wall to be secured as applause is heard in the background

Atkins is then taken off and put against a wall to be secured as applause is heard in the background

The city of Reading’s Pride events are believed to be the first public ones in its history, according to local reports.

Tornelli complained later in the week of getting ‘hundreds of calls on phone lines that are used for emergency and non-emergency requests for police assistance’ complaining about Atkins arrest.

He even suggested that the ‘inappropriate and vile language’ and possible threats used may see them pursue charges against anyone calling in.

However, Atkins had the charges against him dropped on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.

‘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 charges were withdrawn after the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the videos of the incident along with applicable case law.’

Steinbaugh, an attorney for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, said he’s ‘relieved but still found the entire ordeal ludicrous.’

‘Damon should never have been in handcuffs in the first place and the city needs to take measures to correct its officer’s misconduct and ensure that its officers will not violate the First Amendment in the future,’ Steinbaugh added.

Atkins had charges dropped against him on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Berks County District Attorney's Office

Atkins had charges dropped against him on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Berks County District Attorney’s Office

'The charges were withdrawn after the District Attorney's Office reviewed the videos of the incident along with applicable case law,' a spokesperson for the district attorney said

‘The charges were withdrawn after the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the videos of the incident along with applicable case law,’ a spokesperson for the district attorney said

Atkins spoke on Tuesday about his arrest with CBN, saying he was thankful for the support he received even before the charges were dropped.

‘I don’t want anyone to think that I hate anyone. I love my neighbor as Lord Jesus has taught me to love myself, that’s why I was there,’ he said.

He did say, however, say it was ‘scary’ to see drag queens in public, especially around children.

‘I need to warn my brothers and sisters – and I’m not just talking about them – I like to talk about Jesus and I warn everyone. There’s people who come up to me who are living in woeful sin. It’s not just homosexuals.’



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