"Clear cut grounds for a civil suit": Damon Atkins arrest at Pride Day event sparks outrage as Reading police come under fire
Damon Atkins was arrested in Reading, Pennsylvania after expressing his Christian views at a Pride event despite warnings from police officers. The man was captured on video attempting to shout a verse from Corinthians as he got into an altercation with the police. Since being released, the man in question has defended his actions by saying that it was within his rights to express his views. Meanwhile, netizens have taken to social media to express their outrage over his arrest.
The now-viral encounter was recorded by local Reading resident Matthew Wear. He revealed that Damon Atkins “preached for about 10 minutes across the street” when law enforcement approached and warned him. The police reportedly told Atkins that he would be arrested “on the spot” if he does not “stop shouting insults across the street.” Atkins could be heard telling a police officer:
“I’m not being rude. I’m just here to spread the Gospel of good news! Jesus Christ saved me and he can save everyone, including you.”
At one point, the police can be seen attempting to stand between the protester and the Pride event. However, Atkins continues to read the verse that led to his arrest. The police can be heard saying- “That’s it. You’re done.”
Damon Atkins was also holding a sign that read- “God said go and sin no more" and was wearing a shirt that read- “You must be born again.”
A video of his arrest has since gone viral across social media platforms. A netizen also noted that police officer Bradley McClure, badge number 668 was behind the arrest. The Twitter user also attached an image of the police complaint against Damon Atkins which read that he was arrested for “disorderly conduct.” The affidavit which was written by McClure also read:
“I immediately approached him and told him that, while he was free to stand on that side of the street and hold his sign, he could not cross the street nor yell comments intended to disrupt the event.”
Netizens respond to Damon Atkins’ arrest
Internet users were outraged by the incident and could not believe that Atkins was arrested for reciting a Bible verse. Several netizens expressed their frustration online and opined that a lawsuit must be filed against the officer who arrested him. A few tweets read:
In an interview with CBN News, Atkins revealed that he is due to appear in court on June 16. Speaking about his views against Drag culture and his faith, he said:
“How am I wrong for trying to help people when that man that dresses as a woman dresses as a demon is coming up to that little toddler right there. He or she’s holding a flag. This is not okay. I need to warn my brothers and sisters.”
Damon Atkins’ arrest comes to light amid the ongoing boycotting against companies which have supposedly gone “woke.” Several conservatives have criticized companies including Target, Bud Light, Kohl’s, Nike and Adidas amongst others for supporting the LGBTQ community. This has led to the businesses having to deal with a massive drop in sales.