Charges Dropped for Man Arrested at Pride Event After Video Review

Damon Atkins, a self-proclaimed Christian preacher, faced arrest on June 6 while protesting an LGBTQ Pride event in Reading, Pennsylvania. Initially charged with disorderly conduct, the charges were later dropped by the Berks County District Attorney’s Office after reviewing video evidence.

The arrest of Atkins stirred controversy, with Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach suggesting that the city of Reading and its police department could face legal consequences for an alleged “unlawful” arrest.

Video footage captured by a resident of Reading, Matthew Wear, showed Atkins engaging with Sgt. Bradley McClure and citing Bible verses to event attendees, including drag queens and children. Atkins maintained that he was on public property, a point on which Sgt. McClure agreed.

According to the video, Atkins carried a sign that read “Jesus said go and sin no more” and shouted phrases like “God cares” to the crowd. Sgt. McClure requested Atkins to show respect towards the attendees, but Atkins pointed to his sign as a testament of respect.

In the video, Sgt. McClure walked away initially, only to return when Atkins started reciting a Bible verse, leading to his arrest.

In an interview with CBN News, Atkins expressed gratitude for the support he received and clarified his controversial comment about people cheering from hell, referring to a parable from Luke 16:19-31. He also asserted that his presence at the event was driven by love and not hatred, stating, “I love my neighbor as Lord Jesus has taught me to love myself. That’s why I was there.”

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