4 Peaceful Protesters Arrested for Protesting Greensboro Abortion Clinic

On March 28, 2020, police arrested four men who were protesting outside of an abortion clinic in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Charlotte-based anti-abortion group Love Life posted a Facebook Live video where a man said, “Hey guys, we’re in Greensboro right now. We were in Charlotte earlier this morning. And we got a report that in Greensboro, the police have pushed against people being out here to pray, even though we’re doing social distancing. So, we just came up here because they basically they ran off the prayer walkers. They ran off the sidewalk counselors. And the abortion center remains open.”

After three minutes, the video depicts an encounter with two Greensboro police officers outside of A Woman’s Choice, the abortion clinic in question, on Randleman Road.

“I’m gonna tell you now: You need to return to your vehicles,” Lieutenant DW Knott said. “You’ve got a choice now to make. You can choose to comply with what I’m telling you, or you’re going to be charged…. Right now, I am giving you a command to leave this location.”

After Knott asked him if he’s going to comply with his order, another protester responded that he is going to stay where he is “pursuant” to the Guilford County shelter order.

“Sir, let me have your ID, please,” Knott instructed, “and I want you to sit on the curb.”

Another protester commented, “I don’t mean any disrespect.”

A second officer remarked, “Well, y’all are disrespecting us by doing this.”

Sitting on the curb, one of the protesters said, “You want to do this. I don’t want to do this. You desire this. You are the one pushing this. I’m saying, ‘Let’s talk about it.’ I’m saying, ‘At least talk to your city council about it, and your lawyer.’ You don’t want to do that.”

One of the men who ended up being arrested is Justin Reeder, the founder of Love Life USA, according a press release NC Values Coalition, a Christian right organization based in Charlotte, sent out. Reeder has been charged with violating the shelter order and resisting, delaying and obstructing a police officer.

Other individuals arrested and charged with violating the shelter order were Jason Oesterreich, Carl Ubinas, and Isaiah Burner, were also charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

The NC Values Coalition sharply criticized the arrests:

“The North Carolina Values condemns the actions of Greensboro police for arresting Christians who peacefully and legally pray and exercise their religious rights on sidewalk,” said Jim Quick, the state director of grassroots and media. “Not even in communist China would police arrest three men for walking and praying on the street. Even during a fight against a virus, Americans have constitutional rights to pray and exercise religious freedoms.”

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