A Calgary pastor was arrested for the second time on March 15 for protesting a drag queen story hour event at a public library.
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A video clip of the arrest shared on social media by Canadian outlet Rebel News shows Pastor Derek Reimer of Mission 7 Ministries being arrested by Calgary police officers.
As other demonstrators complain about the pastor’s arrest to the group of officers, two officers force Reimer to his knees, handcuff him, and then dragged him to their vehicle after the pastor refused to walk. He stayed silent throughout his arrest.
Reimer, 36, was arrested for ignoring the initial bail condition that prohibited him from being within 200 meters (218 yards) of events involving the LGBTQ community, Calgary police told The New York Post.
He was charged with one count of causing a disturbance and another count of mischief, but he also faces six other counts of harassment under the city’s law, the outlet reported.
Under the Calgary city ordinance, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $10,000 or six months in prison for each count if payment cannot be made.
Reimer was previously arrested on March 2 for protesting at another drag queen event at the Seton Library on Feb. 25. During that demonstration, he was allegedly tossed out of the building by three men, Fox News reported.
The pastor was also served a trespass notice at City Hall the day before for silently praying in objection to the ordinance as it was being debated by city officials, according to Rebel News.
In a video clip tweeted by the outlet, Reimer and a small group of people were praying inside the building when police officers approached them. The pastor was the only one issued a trespass notice out of the group of five people. He was told by a Calgary City Hall security officer that he was being cited for “holding a prayer event inside the municipal complex interior without a permit on March 7. And today as well you’re holding a religious event inside the municipal building interior without a permit.”
The city’s ordinance was passed after Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek promised to crack down on anti-drag protests.
“I’ll be unpacking all the ‘reasons’ why enforcement teams & the Crown feel the street harassment bylaw & other existing bylaws/legislation are not strong enough to charge demonstrators who spread vile lies & hatred in public. And then I’ll be pushing for more. No more excuses,” Gondek tweeted.
The city’s new Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw forbids protests within 100 meters of city libraries and recreation centers.
Reimer, whose missions work focuses on the vulnerable, homeless, and drug-addicted in Calgary’s downtown area, protested a drag queen at an all-ages drag show at Calgary’s Seton library late last month, according to Rebel News.
According to an update posted by the outlet, after a court appearance on Friday, the crown prosecutor was absent and the court was adjourned. Reimer remains at the Calgary Remand Centre until March 22 when the court is scheduled to reconvene.
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