Despite 14 noise citations and an arrest, a Springfield Pastor says he will continue with his sermons on the square.
Pastor Aaron Brummitt and two others were arrested downtown Friday for obstruction and resisting arrest.
Police say they prevented officers from seizing his equipment they were collecting for evidence.
This is just the latest incident involving Brummitt.
Police have given him 13 tickets in the past year for disturbing the peace.
They say he is violating the City’s noise ordinance and doesn't have a permit.
Brummitt says he's not violating the ordinance and claims he tried to get a permit but Springfield city officials told him he doesn't need one.
Brummitt says he's not trying intentionally trying to annoy anyone but is only trying to do what he is called by God to do.
“The lord put upon my heart to preach the gospel to every creature… It grabbed my heart that we needed to go out to where people are that would never sit in a church to show them there's hope and peace out there,” said Brummitt.
Brummitt is an Iraq War veteran. He says the City is violating his first amendment right to free speech that he fought to protect and has hired a lawyer who is taking on the case free of charge.
Dave Myers the Chairman of Live Free Springfield sent this in a statement to KSPR News:
“While we are not making any specific judgments against the arresting officers, it must be acknowledged that the events portrayed in this video look very bad against the officers involved. This is not the first occurrence of police intervention with regard to this local pastor. With the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendment violations happening across our country in increasing and ever public frequency, Live Free Springfield stands with other groups and citizens requesting city leadership take a serious stance in this issue and see that questions which arise from the video are answered in a timely fashion.”
In a separate statement, the Veterans In Defense Of Liberty said this:
“On October 4, 2013, Springfield, MO police arrested three individuals who were downtown street preaching. A video of these arrests has made it on YouTube and other social media sites. While the video has been edited for time, questions are raised about the authority and force used by the police officers involved and the possible violations of the detained citizens’ rights under several Amendments of the US Constitution. As veterans who have worn the uniform and often in hostile situations, Veterans in Defense of Liberty honors the daily service given by the Springfield Police Department. No accusations toward the officers involved are being made at this point. What we are asking publicly is that Springfield's elected officials consider the importance of this event and have an open and honest discussion about the details with the citizens of Springfield. We seek full transparency in this matter.”
Pastor Brummitt says he plans to continue his street preaching. City officials say as long as they continue to get noise complaints they will continue to issue citations to Brummitt.