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Officer was wrong to arrest preacher for reading from the Bible at the DMV, the rules of the court

 

A police officer lacked probable cause to arrest a preacher for the reading of the Bible aloud to a California Department of Motor Vehicles office, a federal court of appeal says.

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling Wednesday, rejected a lower court opinion that found in favor of the California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer.

Calvary Church pastor Mark Mackey had sued Meyer, saying his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when Meyer arrested him to preach the gospel without a license outside the Hemet DMV in 2011.

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Meyer argues that Mackey’s preaching led to a verbal altercation with the people standing in line to get into the office.

But the judge said that assertion was “completely denied” by the video.

“You can speak of your own house,” Meyer say in the video.

“People, this is what the United States,” Mackey is heard saying. “You can talk about anything you want, but you can’t talk about the Bible.”

The video, which was shown on Fox News, went viral online, the Riverside Press Enterprise reported Thursday.

Mackey’s reaction to the verdict was “justice still prevails,” while Meyer declined comment, the paper reported.

Mackey was eventually acquitted of the felony criminal charges against him.

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