A Canadian pastor who refused to shutter his church despite threats from the Calgary Police Service has been arrested for organizing an illegal in-person gathering (i.e., a church service).
Pastor Artur Pawlowski originally rose to prominence for shouting down several Calgary police officers who attempted to interrupt his Easter church service.
Now, both the pastor and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, have been arrested and charged for their continued defiance of Alberta’s mandates limiting in-person gatherings. A recording of their arrest has since been posted to YouTube, which begins after the Pawlowski’s car is pulled over on the side of a highway by law enforcement.
One officer approaches the driver side window and says, “As per the injunction that was served on Artur here, and Dawid back here, I am to place them both under arrest for breaching the Queen’s Bench Order.” The officer then instructs Artur and Dawid to step out of the car.
Pastor Pawlowski then asks the officer how he feels about being a “Nazi,” and says, “How can you look in the mirror, man?” The officer responds, “I have to advise both of you… that you are under arrest. Please step out of the vehicle and comply.”
Both Artur and Dawid then exit the vehicle and get on their knees. After being handcuffed, Artur Pawlowski asks the officers to “do it the Nazi style,” implying that he is not going to walk voluntarily to the patrol car. Two officers then pick up Pawlowski by the arms and carry him to a patrol car.
His brother, Dawid, is also handcuffed. He lays on the ground, which then forces three officers to grab his arms and legs and carry him to a patrol vehicle.
One man who was driving the Pawlowskis, and was not under arrest, then shamed the officers.
“Shame on you guys! This is not communist China!” the man says. “Where’s your oath? Where’s your honor? Where’s your dignity?” the man asks. It appears from the video that over half a dozen officers and at least three patrol cars plus three police vans were involved in the arrests.
In a statement, the Calgary Police Service said the Pawlowskis were arrested because they were “in violation of a new court order obtained by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in relation to mandatory compliance of public health orders for gatherings.”
“CPS lawfully enforced this order by proactively serving an organizer of a church service with the court order in an effort to ensure that citizens attending the Saturday service were abiding by the current COVID-19 public health orders…
“Artur Pawlowski and Dawid Pawlowski have both been arrested and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering,” the statement said.
The Daily Citizen reached out to the Calgary police inquiring about the Pawlowskis’ arrest but only received an automated reply. Some of the questions we asked the Calgary police include:
- Have any other people been arrested by the Calgary police for violating the order against public gatherings?
- Have other violations of the order prohibiting public gatherings taken place which have not led to arrests?
- In the first 10 months of 2020, Calgary had 29 murders. How many of these cases have been solved, and if the answer is less than 100%, why does the Calgary Police Service dedicate its resources to arresting pastors instead of alleged murderers?
Also of note, the Calgary Police Service believes that its department is embedded with structural racism.
“While we know that our officers and civilian employees strive every day to treat people according to our values, we acknowledge that structural racism still exists in our Service,” its website states under its “Commitment to Anti-Racism.”
The Canadian Bill of Rights recognizes that people have a right to the “freedom of religion” and the “freedom of assembly and association.”
Unfortunately, in Calgary, the COVID-19 pandemic is apparently enough reason for a judge to relegate these rights to worthless words.
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Photo from YouTube