Repent America Denounces Arrest of Georgia Street Preacher
Repent America (RA) denounces the unlawful arrest of evangelist Marcus Pittman of Transplant Ministries while preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the public streets of Athens, Georgia and urges immediate action. [Photo Courtesy: Chris Yarzab]
On the night of Friday, February 25, 2011, Pittman was street preaching with his bare voice in the noisy downtown district when he was approached by Senior Police Officer Jonathan Fraser of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, who stated that his preaching was a violation of the city's noise ordinance. Pittman attempted to reason with the officer regarding his constitutional right to publicly proclaim the Gospel, but was instead arrested on the public sidewalk.
According to Pittman, Officer Fraser confiscated an iPod he was using to record the encounter, stopped the recording and illegally deleted the footage of their discussion. Upon the return of the digital device, he also found that Officer Fraser was captured in a new 38-minute recording while it was in police custody, in which Officer Fraser could be heard stating: "They're all wanting to argue the Constitutionality, the United States Constitution, freedom of speech, blah, blah, blah."
A CALL TO ACTION: Don't let this officer's egregious and unlawful behavior go without your voice of opposition!
Please act by doing the following:
Athens-Clarke County Manager Alan Reddish
and express your disapproval of the unlawful arrest of Marcus Pittman on February 25 in downtown Athens and demand that the charges be withdrawn. Additionally, demand that he takes the necessary steps to prevent any future police abuses as it pertains to freedom of speech, and that he investigates the destruction of the evidence. The Chief of Police reports to Mr. Reddish.
Phone: (706) 613-3020
Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin
and respectfully express your disgust over Fraser's profound abuse of authority and request that the county's officers be required to receive proper constitutional training. Furthermore, request that a full investigation be conducted regarding the unlawful destruction of Pittman's video footage.
Phone: (706) 613-3330, Ext. 242
Lieutenant Melodi Bennett
and express your disgust over Fraser's actions, and request that he be properly disciplined for his abuse of authority.
Phone: (706) 613-3705, Ext. 21
Senior Police Officer Jonathan Fraser
and respectfully but firmly reprove the officer for his illegal actions and his unwarranted attack on free speech and the public proclamation of the Gospel.
Phone: (706) 613-3888 (Immediately press #, then 3727, and finally # to leave a voicemail)
Phone: (706) 613-3705, Ext. 34 (After 6 p.m. he may answer, but no voicemail.)
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