Police won’t say why pastor arrested

By Dave Tombers

The last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, may appreciate U. S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III for blocking a state law that would have closed its doors.

But the group also can thank the Jackson Police Department for running interference as well.

Several city police officers swooped in and arrested a preacher named Chet Gallagher while he walked along a public sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic, preaching the Word of God to a dozen or more people, this week.

The charges? Don’t know; police didn’t tell him.

Department officials even declined to give him charging documents when he was ordered to appear in court in June.

“It’s hard to say what they’re charging me with,” Gallagher told WND in a phone interview. “I think they are charging me with obstructing a public sidewalk and resisting arrest, but after four hours in jail they still didn’t clarify what the charges were.”

WND calls to the police department weren’t returned.

Gallagher told WND that the Jackson officers have a history of issuing citations for outlandish charges to pro-lifers who maintain a presence in front of the clinic.

“One gentleman was cited for allowing the sign he was holding in his hands to touch the sidewalk, rather than resting it on the top of his feet,” Gallagher told WND.

Gallagher said that he imagines the officer is charging him with resisting arrest because he stopped walking with the officer and pulled his arm free from the officer’s grasp while demanding to know why he was being arrested.

“He refused to tell me or the witnesses with me what I was being arrested for,” said Gallagher. “Instead he escorted me across the street out of earshot of my companions, but never did identify what I had done to deserve arrest.”

When WND asked if he was in fact blocking the sidewalk, Gallagher said, “No,” and explained that he simply did what he frequently does by walking along the sidewalk while preaching.

No one approached the clinic, and no one was blocked while he walked and talked, he tells WND.

He told WND there’s probably pressure on the officers from the abortion business, and probably surrounding businesses, because of presence of the pro-life groups that draw attention to “the horrors that go on inside that clinic.”

He said the day before his arrest he publicly chastised the police department for doing more to keep the peace for the clinic “than the children inside the clinic being ripped apart, while enjoying no peace.”

Operation Save America, as well as a number of Jackson area churches, are committed to praying and holding services near the “killing place,” they said in a prepared statement.

They are hoping that the will of the people of Mississippi prevails in making Mississippi the first abortion-free state in America.

“The people of Mississippi elected a governor and a legislature determined to free their state of the blood of the innocent but the renegade courts and Jackson police are determined to counter their wishes,” said Rev. Flip Benham, of Operation Save America.

WND asked Benham about the recent arrest in Jackson, and why Gallagher was singled out.

“The police think that if they arrest the leader, they’ve cut off the head, and the rest of the body will follow. What they fail to realize is that Jesus is the head, and He can’t be cut off,”

He tells WND that the police are very aggressive in defense of the abortion business.

“The police are the ones who want us off the street. Not the state of Mississippi, not the governor, not the people. Just the police,” he said.

The state has adopted a requirement that abortionists reach agreements with area hospitals to admit patients whose abortion injuries end up being severe. Without those admitting privileges, the abortion businesses are not allowed to operate.

But a federal judge responded to the clinic’s request for help and temporarily blocked application of the law.

The abortionists were unable to obtain those admitting privileges.

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