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'I Forgive Them': Police Reportedly Arrest Street Preacher as He Shares Gospel During Pride Event


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A street preacher was recently arrested in Seattle, Washington after authorities reportedly deemed him a public safety risk for reading scripture aloud near an event commemorating pride.

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The preacher, Matthew Meinecke, discussed the ordeal on Twitter, with the faith leader accusing numerous police officers of arresting him as he read the Bible in a park.

“SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park,” Meinecke tweeted June 27. “Because it’s such a horrible crime now!”

The man, who goes by “The Seattle Preacher” on Twitter, included a video along with these proclamations that shows Seattle Police Department officers standing by as someone — presumably Meinecke — reads scripture aloud.

It’s unclear what happened before the clip, but one cop can be heard stating that the individual reading Scripture can no longer stay in his location.

“So, at this point, we can no longer stand by the risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here, can be mitigated if you leave, your last chance,” the cop can be heard saying.

A man responds, “I don’t want to leave, because I’m not in danger.” That’s when authorities handcuff the individual, identified in the press as Meinecke, and the crowd erupts into cheers.

Meinecke later told Jonathan Choe, a journalist with the Discovery Institute, the incident unfolded late last month when he was reading the Bible aloud at the Seattle Center.

He said he was “not aggressively preaching” at the time but was removed by police nonetheless.

“Your job’s not to silence me and move me,” he told Choe of the police, proceeding to respond to critics who might question his tactics. “Why are they so offended by words? I just believe in using the Word of God, so if those words are so offensive…the problem is in you.”

Meinecke also shared footage of people purportedly kicking a Bible in the ground back and forth and of a Bible thrown into a toilet — acts he likened to hate crimes.

Watch below (caution: language):

“I got two Bibles ripped up, dragged, a barrier got thrown on top of me,” he said. “This was extremely violent.”

Choe shared a municipal court document from the arrest proclaiming Meinecke wasn’t immediately charged with any crime. However, the document said the city attorney “may file charges” against him in the future, pending Washington law.

Despite the violence, Meinecke said he has endured, he offered forgiveness to those who have physically harmed and derided him.

“I forgive them,” he said. “I don’t hold nothing against them.”

CBN’s Faithwire reached out to the Seattle Police Department for comment on Meinecke’s arrest and will update the story pending a response.

Meinecke was also allegedly arrested in 2019 for preaching outside of a Washington high school.

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