A California man has filed a complaint with the City of San Francisco after he says police threatened to arrest him if he held up a sign that said, “John 3:16” on camera at a Giants/Dodgers game last July.
Christian News Network reports Gino Emmerich often brings the sign to baseball games. But at the game last summer, Emmerich carried the sign near the broadcast booth and was apprehended by an ESPN producer and four police officers who told him that if he showed the sign on camera, he would be arrested.
Later, Emmerich showed the sign behind the commentators at the broadcast booth and a police officer pulled him by shirt out of the view of the camera.
Emmerich believes he was targeted for the message his sign conveyed, as other people were holding signs with secular messages behind the broadcast booth.
According to the complaint, Emmerich then asked, “If I go over there and hold up this sign again, you are going to take me to jail?”
An officer responded, “If you go over there and hold that sign again, we will arrest you and the sergeant will come over here and decide where we are going to take you.”
The city denies the incident and Emmerich is now challenging San Francisco in a federal court, seeking a permanent injunction against the officers’ actions and $50,000 in damages.
Publication date: July 14, 2015