(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) A Christian man was arrested and thrown into a wall by three police officers after peacefully protesting a Pride event by reciting a Bible verse to members of the LGBT community in Reading, Pennsylvania. A disturbing video showed the incident, which has since gone viral.
The video captured David Atkins defending his right to demonstrate on a public street. However, before he could finish his bible verse, a seemingly frustrated police officer abruptly shouted, “That’s it. You’re done.” A bystander, who recorded the video, expressed shock at the arrest, exclaiming, “I cannot believe I’m watching this.”
Atkins, who intended to recite 1 Corinthians 14:33, pleaded with the officer before the arrest, “This is public property,” to which the officer callously responded, “I don’t care.” Undeterred by the officer’s aggressive tone, Atkins replied, “God cares.” The officer, attempting to kick the Christian man out, dismissively stated, “Let them have their day,” referring to a crowd of LGBT activists who were recelebrating the month-long gay pride.
As the fed-up police officers handcuffed him, a shocked Atkins made a final attempt to recite the Bible verse, saying, “For God is not the author […],” but he was forcefully pushed against a nearby wall and escorted away as the LGBT crowd broke into chants and shouts.
According to an affidavit filed by Officer Bradley T. McClure, Atkins was arrested over alleged “disorderly conduct.”
During an interview with Dan Andros, a managing editor for the Christian Broadcasting Network, Atkins recounted that he had just shown up to the event when he was confronted by the aggressive officer. Atkins shared, “[The officer] comes right up to me and he says—it’s almost like I felt it was the enemy telling me, ‘You’re going to be quiet.’”
Atkins said he recalled he had a constitutional right to be there. “I thought of the First Amendment, it popped in my head, like, ‘No, sir. This is public property. I’m not being rude, I’m just here to spread the gospel to Good News, ‘Jesus Christ saved me and He can everyone, including the officer,” he continued.
The disturbing video concluded with the bystander telling Atkins, “God bless you, brother.” This incident does not appear to be an isolated event.
In April, for example, a Christian man was arrested and thrown to the ground by a gang of officers for preaching at a pro-abortion rally in Orlando, Florida. A pastor in Clearwater, Florida was also detained on a separate protest outside an abortion clinic.
Watch Atkins described the full account of the disturbing arrest below: