The city of Moscow, Idaho will have to pony up $300,000 for three Christian churchgoers who were arrested in 2020 for not wearing masks during an outdoor service at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The individuals in question sued the city alleging that their First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the unnecessary arrests.
Video of one of the detentions showing Gabriel Rench being handcuffed while one officer takes away his hymn book went viral. Rench and the two others, seemingly arrested at random, were part of a psalm-singing event.
The event was organized as a protest against a mask mandate imposed by the City Council at the time.
Police arrest Gabriel Rench during a Psalm Sing service held by Christ Church in Moscow for “not social distancing.” Gabe Rench is a candidate for County Commissioner. @GMRench @FoxNews @KREM2
More: https://t.co/veyHnqUcju pic.twitter.com/dxgS3lVryl
— Moscow Report (@moscow_report) September 24, 2020
Moscow, Idaho Settles With Christians Arrested For Not Wearing Masks
The $300,000 victory marks a settlement with the three Christians arrested in Moscow, Idaho for not wearing masks outdoors. They were charged with violating the city’s continually extended health ordinance, even as the ordinance had carved out exemptions for religious activity.
A judge later dismissed the charges and noted that the churchgoers “should never have been arrested in the first place.”
Rench told Fox News that the arrests and his subsequent victory with the settlement have made him a target in Moscow, a city that is over 90% white and overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton in the presidential elections.
He claims community members have been less than understanding, calling him “an idiot” who does not “love his neighbor.”
Rench says they’ve suggested he “take (his) money and run” since the payout.
There really is no more intolerant group of people on the planet than white liberals.
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“I’m in a conservative state, but I live in a liberal town, and the liberals had no problem arresting me for practicing my religious rights and my Constitutional rights,” he said.
That’s a statement everybody needs to remember for many, many years to come. Don’t think the Democrats won’t do this to you again, the first chance that they get.
Remember the Covid worship arrests in Moscow Idaho back in September 2020?
The people arrested SUED Moscow Police.
Today a settlement agreement was announced.
— JLR© (@JLRINVESTIGATES) July 15, 2023
COVID Arrests In Canada
Moscow, Idaho wasn’t the only place to treat churchgoers during the pandemic like they actually lived in Moscow, USSR.
Artur Pawlowski, a Polish pastor who went viral for demanding that officers checking for COVID compliance leave his church on two separate occasions, was arrested in Canada for holding an “illegal” service in May of 2021.
A heavily-armed SWAT team just took down a Christian pastor heading home from church. Police say he’s charged with “inciting” people to go to church. This is the second pastor jailed this year. We’re crowdfunding his lawyers at https://t.co/bMwAj1iNfP pic.twitter.com/RZ913cQns3
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) May 8, 2021
Pastor Tim Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church in Alberta was arrested in front of his crying children after Canadian law enforcement used a helicopter to locate where his church had been secretly meeting during the pandemic.
Stephens spent weeks in jail but was later acquitted.
Pastor arrested for gathering with Christians in Canada
Pastor Tim Stephens arrested on Monday afternoon on new charges, after Fairview Baptist Church gathered for underground worship for 2nd week in a row
To hear his children crying while saying ‘Bye Daddy’ heart breaking pic.twitter.com/uyW1HMaVty
— 🦅 Eagle Wings 🦅 (@CRRJA5) June 15, 2021
Tyrannical crackdowns were also seen in Canada during the trucker protest against vaccine mandates.
Rench offered up his take on what happened in both Canada and America.
“I think it’s no secret that portions of our government and political groups are now starting to target Christians in a way that has never really happened in America or Canada,” he said.
Liberals are the true fascists. They showed it during the pandemic.
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