Artur Pawlowski, a Polish pastor who went viral for demanding that officers checking for COVID compliance leave his church on two separate occasions, has been arrested for holding an “illegal” service.
The arrest reportedly involved violating COVID-19 limits on gatherings set by a new court order.
A statement by Calgary police indicates Pawlowski “was in violation” of the order obtained by an organization – the Alberta Health Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Health – in relation to “mandatory compliance of public health orders for gatherings.”
Video of the arrest shows the pastor being detained in the middle of a heavily-trafficked road and dragged toward several police vehicles.
One onlooker in the video shouts, “Shame on you guys, this is not Communist China.”
The absurdity of what you’re witnessing in the video below is surpassed only by the absurdity of the statement by Calgary police.
Pawlowski, in their words, has been “charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering.”
“It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest,” the department adds.
“However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”
The word ‘comply’ or ‘compliance’ is featured three times throughout the statement.
A little over one week ago a warrant for Artur Pawlowski’s arrest had been obtained by Calgary Police.
The warrant stated that should Pawlowski refuse access to his church to any executive officer, police “shall be permitted to accompany and assist the Executive Officer and use such reasonable force as they consider appropriate to gain access.”
It went on to state that if law enforcement has “reasonable grounds” to believe the pastor had violated the court order, law enforcement would be permitted “to forthwith arrest that person, restrain him or her and bring him or her” before the court.
Calgary Police were quick to point out that Pawlowski was not detained in his church.
“The order was served prior to the church service, and CPS did not enter the church during the service,” the agency said.
“The service organizer acknowledged the injunction, but chose to ignore requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing, and reduced capacity limits for attendees, and continued with the event.”
Pawlowski’s case rose to prominence when the pastor went viral for demanding police officers checking for COVID compliance leave his church on Good Friday.
Pawlowski demanded the officers get “Out! Out! Out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant, out.”
The police went and got their warrant and pursued the Polish pastor relentlessly since then.
Just last month he got another visit from law enforcement at a different church location.
“I do not cooperate with Gestapo,” the pastor railed. “I do not talk to the Nazis. You came in your uniforms like thugs. That’s what you are.”
Calgary Police practically turned him from pastor to prophet when they acted exactly as he had accused.
The Toronto Sun reports that Artur Pawlowski has “received numerous tickets during the COVID-19 pandemic,” including an incident in which he was fined $1,200 by Calgary Police for allegedly feeding the homeless, an event which ran afoul of restrictions.
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