A Calgary pastor recorded a video while repeatedly asking Calgary law enforcement agencies to leave his church during a COVID-19 check over the weekend.
According to the Calgary Police Service, one uniformed police officer attended a call on Saturday, April 3, to assist Alberta Health Services and City of Calgary Bylaw services at a religious gathering held at Street Church.
There was concern that the people in attendance were not adhering to the government’s COVID-19 public health orders. The Calgary Police say that they are often asked to attend calls of this nature in case any conflict occurs between citizens and health inspectors.
Polish-Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski filmed the interaction at 4315 26th Avenue SE in Calgary.
Pawlowski can be heard calling the officers “Nazis,” “Gestapo,” and “communists” in the video as he repeatedly asks them to “get out of the property.”
“Passover – the holiest Christian festival [of] the year – and they’re coming to intimidate Christians? … Unbelievable,” Pawlowski says in the video. “Coming to the church, armed with guns and tasers and handcuffs, to intimidate during Passover celebration.”
“We do not wish to disrupt anyone’s holidays or religious or spiritual events,” said the Calgary Police in a statement, “However, we must support our partner agencies when called upon to help ensure everyone can safely celebrate these occasions.”
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The Calgary Police say that they continue to strive for voluntary compliance with public health orders.
“The organizer of the gathering was uncooperative with the health inspector, and repeatedly raised his voice asking all parties to leave the premises, which they did approximately one minute after entry and in a peaceful manner,” the Calgary Police said.
No tickets were issued at the time, and the Calgary Police say that it’s up to their partner agencies to determine any enforcement action in response to this situation.