FILES LAWSUIT - A Louisiana minister is suing state and local officials, claiming they threatened and harassed him about the pandemic ban on large gatherings. The Advocate reports that pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church near Baton Rouge also claims that his phone was tapped and a camera illegally installed at his home, and that he was followed. Officials of several agencies named in the suit denied the allegations in the federal civil rights lawsuit filed late last week in federal court in Baton Rouge.
"We will never comply with any anti-God, anti-church, any anti-free American/Christian order that says do not have church," Spell said.
Speaking from his front door in a video released late Friday, Spell announced that his church has no plans to comply with the Phase 1 reopening which allows churches to hold indoor services at 25% capacity.
Spell has repeatedly flouted the Emergency Order against gatherings of more than 10 people and was arrested on April 21st for aggravated assault after backing a church bus toward a protester on the roadside. On Friday night, a federal judge refused Spell’s request to temporarily halt the governor’s stay-at-home order.