Pastor Tony Spell files lawsuit against Governor Edwards over stay-at-home order
CENTRAL - A local pastor who flagrantly defied Governor John Bel Edwards' stay-at-home order by repeatedly holding large gatherings at his church is now suing the governor and local officials.
Documents filed Thursday say pastor Tony Spell is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing Governor Edwards and the heads of local law enforcement agencies from arresting or fining him for continuing to hold services while the state order is in effect. EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Central Mayor David Barrow are also named in the suit.
In the documents, attorneys representing Spell say it is a "travesty" that the pastor's religious freedoms were infringed and claim that it hasn't been proven that Spell truly violated the "ambiguous and contradictorily-worded" emergency order.
Spell was arrested last month after surveillance cameras caught him nearly striking a protester near Life Tabernacle Church while driving a church bus. Spell was then placed under house arrest after his release from jail for continuing to hold services despite a condition of his bond spelling out that he must obey the emergency order.
Governor Edwards' current stay-at-home order is set to expire in just over a week on May 15.
You can read the full lawsuit by clicking here.
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