Police recently arrested a street preacher in Seattle, Washington, after police said he was a “public safety risk” because he was reading scripture aloud near a gay pride event.
Matthew Meinecke, the preacher, said on Twitter that numerous police officers arrested him as he read the Bible in a park at the Seattle Center, CBN News reports.
“SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park,” Meinecke tweeted on June 27. “Because it’s such a horrible crime now!”
Meinecke goes by “The Seattle Preacher” on social media and posted a video on Twitter that shows Seattle Police officers standing near Meinecke as he read scripture.
“So, at this point, we can no longer stand by. The risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here can be mitigated if you leave. Your last chance,” an officer says in the video.
Meinecke responds, “I don’t want to leave because I’m not in danger.”
SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park. Because it's such a horrible crime now! pic.twitter.com/pytbNDel9I— The Seattle Preacher (@mattteamjesus) June 27, 2022
Police then arrest him, and the crowd cheers around him. According to court documents, Meinecke was not charged with a crime, but the city attorney can still file charges in the future.
Meinecke told the Discovery Institute that he was “not aggressively preaching” at the time but was removed by police nonetheless.
“Your job’s not to silence me and move me,” he told the Discovery Institute of the police. “Why are they so offended by words? I just believe in using the Word of God, so if those words are so offensive…the problem is in you.”
He also said people destroyed some of his Bibles.
“I got two Bibles ripped up, dragged, a barrier got thrown on top of me,” he said. “This was extremely violent.
“I forgive them,” he added. “I don’t hold nothing against them.”
Previously in 2019, Meinecke was also arrested for preaching outside of a Washington high school.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Caspar Benson
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.