Two off-duty police officers were charged for attending a church service at the Church of God* in Aylmer, Ontario after a video was posted to Facebook showing a confrontation between officers from different precincts. The police officers attending the service were charged under the province’s “Reopening Ontario Act” which forbids more than 10 people from gathering for church, irrespective of the size of the church building or how many people it could hold safely.
The confrontation took place during a Tuesday evening service, where the police received a tip from the public that the congregants were gathered for some sort of service. The off-duty officer tells the Aylmer police officer who showed up:
You’re harassing people, and you’re breaking the Charter. Didn’t you swear an oath to the Charter like I did?
The other off-duty officer sought to explain that the church service is on private property and that the police are trespassing and breaking the law. She references an act of unprofessionalism that occurred prior to filming, which we later learned carried threat of arrest for being there:
It’s offensive and unprofessional… threatening me, for one. For two, you know what officer? You’re on a church parking lot. How do you sleep at night? Well? I’ve been an officer for over two decades and I would never, never, put on a uniform and behave the way you do in a place of religion and talk to people the way you do. (unintelligible) I would never, I would never speak to a member of the public. You mustn’t engage with ego. With ego. I expect you to be professional. You went from 0 to 100. Where’s the tactic of communication? You clearly have no ‘taccom.’ When you’ve got to go to authority first in an autocratic way, your gift of communication sucks – sorry to tell you that.”
Other things overheard by the off-duty officers “They feel they can come on the parking lot and do whatever they want, harassing people. It’s incredible…This is not how officers of the law behave…You swore an oath and now you’re just tearing it up…I can’t wait to speak to your chief.”
During the encounter, the off-duty officers ask for the Aylmer police officer’s identification and he won’t identify himself or give his badge number, something they berate him for before he drives off to his partner’s car.
As a result of the service Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat told CBC News that at least four, people were charged and that other charges are pending. “We’re also looking at identifying others and there will likely be more charges laid as a result of yesterday’s incident.”
- *[Editor’s Note: While we are thankful for the way that the Aylmer Church of God has continually insisted on having services and in doing so exposed the tyrannical hand of the government, they and their members having been given thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines, we have deep concerns about the theological beliefs of this church along with their pastor Henry Hildebrandt. An article about them will be forthcoming, but at this time we believe that they are a cult and are not Christians.]
- [Editor’s note 2: Aylmer, Ontario is the site of the Ontario Provincial Police College. Pray for the officers being trained there.]
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