David McConnell, who was represented in a legal battle by the Christian Institute, has won $4,500 in damages from police officers in Huddersfield, England. What sparked the lawsuit were over-aggressive police officers abusing their power to try to silence McConnell for preaching on the street against sin.
In December 2019, street preacher McConnell was preaching in Huddersfield with a general message on the gospel, pointing out we are all sinners in need of Christ’s salvation. Nearby hecklers then prodded him with questions about sex and abortion even though he didn’t mention specific topics. When he answered them according to the scriptures, the West Yorkshire Police moved in to arrest him without stating the reason for his arrest. It was the typical attempt to conjure up a “gotcha” moment that Christ and his disciples have faced from the opposition since the first century.
As he was being held in jail for 6 hours, the police repeatedly went through the audio recording of McConnell’s sermon and came up with nothing they could charge him with. Thus, the lawsuit was then filed. The West Yorkshire Police admitted their culpability and McConnell will now be compensated for the unnecessary trouble they caused him with their overzealousness. The Christian Institute is calling for changes in the law to prevent such incidents from happening in order to avoid the need for lawsuits. They point out that such police actions, even if someone wins against the police, can only serve to chill free speech and emboldens police to assume they are enforcers for the cancel culture.
Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Psalm 119:134
Bob Unruh, Police pay up for acting to ‘cancel’ Christian preacher, WND.com, June 25, 2021.
Christian Institute, CI News: 25 June 2021, YouTube, June 25, 2021.