Pastor Jeff Durbin is no stranger to confrontation. He and his team at EndAbortionNow frequently take to the streets and stand out in front of Planned Parenthood locations, encouraging women who enter not to abort their unborn babies.
During a recent such stand in Tempe, Arizona, he half expected to be hassled by police officers since it has happened to his team at this particular location before. So, Durbin came armed with printed copies of the city code, along with a supreme court ruling proving that what he was doing was within the boundaries of the law.
It wasn’t long after Durbin, the preaching pastor at Tempe’s Apologia Church, began preaching the gospel of Christ outside the Planned Parenthood clinic that he was approached by an officer who was allegedly responding to a “complaint” registered by a local.
During the exchange, Durbin firmly yet politely shows the officer the city code and other legal writings on the subject demonstrating he was acting within his legal rights.
“Do you have your ID on you?” the officer asked Durbin. “Why do you have to see my ID?” Durbin quickly responded. “I need to talk to you about a complaint from the neighborhood about sound amplification,” the officer explained.
“But that is a legal activity,” Durbin responded. “I can show you. That has been ruled on.” The officer then began to get frustrated: “Don’t give me the law,” he said. “If I can just get your name.”
You can watch the full exchange here (keep reading below for more details):
Pastor Shuts Down Unlawful Police Officer! Officer L. Lenzen from Tempe Police Department refused to read the law Pastor Jeff was being accused of breaking. Instead of obeying an unlawful order Jeff stood his ground and fought back (using the law), forcing the police department to leave the scene. Here's the high quality audio and video of the abusive police officers trying to shut down our amplification. Please SHARE this video far and wide and let the Tempe Police Department know you will not allow this unconstituional behavior from their officers. Here's the YouTube version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT_RRqgf7m4
Posted by Apologia Studios on Wednesday, December 13, 2017
“Are you arresting me or charging me with a crime?” Durbin questioned. “Not at this point,” the officer said. Again, Durbin kept pointing back to the law. “You are a law enforcement official. The law says in order for you to say I am disturbing the peace, it has to be more than a vague generality of your own opinion. You have to have a calibrated meter that demonstrates I am over 65 decibels. It is the city code.”
As the officer begins to run out of ideas, Durbin continued: “The problem is, we have freedom of speech rights. Somebody saying you are disturbing my peace because I don’t like your message or I can hear it isn’t a valid reason to undo the constitution of the United States that says I have freedom of speech.”
Then, a supervisor is called. She is far less cordial than the responding officer, immediately demanding Jeff’s last name and stating that the police were now issuing him with a warning for using an amplification device. “Officer, you can’t do that unless you have a calibrated meter, according to the city code,” Jeff asserted. “Oh, we can,” the officer snapped back.
“You can violate this law?” Jeff asked increduously. The officer refused to read the city code. “You’ve been given a warning, you can’t use your amplified sound device if you do you’ll go to jail,” she said. “Mam, you’re a supervisor and you won’t even look at the law?”
“No, I know the law,” she responded.
“We’ll file a suit against you,” Jeff then declared. “Go ahead,” the officer brashly said. She then appeared to parade her name and police identification in front of the camera.
“I reject your warning,” Jeff proclaimed as the officer walked off. “We are going to continue to use sound amplification because it’s our constitutional right. If you try to violate our constitutional rights, we will sue you and the city of Tempe.”
Durbin paused for a moment, and decided to go full monologue on the officer:
“You are engaging in thuggish, oppressive, unconstitutional behavior. Officer, you need to repent of your lawless conduct.
You don’t know the law, and yet you pretend to represent it!
You will be sued, sir. This entire activity has been documented on video.”
“If Christians don’t actually stand on what the law is, and actually confront lawless behavior of police officers, they will continue to oppress people, they will continue to perpetuate injustice, they will continue to violate our rights,” Jeff explained after the police had left. “And they will actually try to halt ministries like this that work to rescue children.”
In another video posted to his Facebook page, Pastor Jeff detailed the case of another pro-life campaigner who was criminally charged for his activities outside the Planned Parenthood clinic. “We wanted to ask for you to pray for us,” he said. “One of our friends who has been out here for a long time was criminally cited a few weeks ago. He had his property stolen by the Tempe Police Department.”
Durbin explained how the man’s legal amplification device was illegally confiscated by the authorities. “He has a court case I believe on December 19th. We want to try to let you guys know what is going on with that.”
Durbin said that the city of Tempe is “trying to apply pressure” to stop them from doing their work. He says that a few weeks ago the City of Tempe “literally tried to grab” their pro-life signs. “We were able to stop that. I talked to the City of Tempe and they backed off. It was right after that the police department started harassing us.”
Apologia Church is no stranger to controversial outreach. A quick scan through their Facebook page and you will see many encounters with the police caught on HD video and posted to their followers, garnering hundreds of shares. Updates about various other evangelism activities have also been posted:
Tonight, at our Mormon temple evangelism, someone ripped the tracts out of our hand and tore them in half. Pray for the…
Apologia Studio’s Facebook page posted this caption alongside a video of the abortion clinic incident:
“Officer L. Lenzen from Tempe Police Department refused to read the law Pastor Jeff was being accused of breaking. Instead of obeying an unlawful order Jeff stood his ground and fought back (using the law), forcing the police department to leave the scene.
Here’s the high-quality audio and video of the abusive police officers trying to shut down our amplification.”
What do you think?