‘Reckless disregard for human life’: Megachurch pastor arrested for holding service

Despite local restrictions placed on public gatherings as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one Florida pastor opted to hold church as usual on Sunday.

The decision led to his arrest on suspicion of unlawful assembly and violation of public health ordinances.

Rodney Howard-Browne, who leads The River megachurch in Tampa, held two services with one reportedly attracting in excess of 500 parishioners.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister cited Howard-Browne’s “reckless disregard for human life” as the reason for the arrest, asserting that he “put hundreds of people in his congregation and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger.”

In its own statement on the issue, The River claimed it should be considered “one of those essential services” allowed to operate amid the widespread social distancing protocol.

“It is a place where people turn for help and for comfort in a climate of fear and uncertainty,” the church wrote.

Receive the most important political news stories of the day delivered to your inbox!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s