Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is trouble with the law for violating the safer-at-home order in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
On Sunday, a defiant Howard-Browne held a packed church service at The River Church in Tampa which startled many on social media.
On Monday, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s department issued a warrant for Howard-Browne’s arrest for committing reckless disregard for public safety and unlawful assembly in violation of public safety orders.
Via TB Times
“The Sheriff’s Office has advised church leaders of the danger they are putting themselves and their congregation in by not maintaining appropriate social distancing at a time when COVID-19 cases are unfortunately still on the rise in Hillsborough County,” says the statement released Sunday night.
The statement said Sheriff’s Office attorneys were in touch with church attorneys.
“We are working to determine how compliance can be achieved to keep the public safe under these extraordinary conditions, and we hope to resolve this matter quickly,” the statement said.
State law allows the order to be enforced as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500 or both. Hillsborough officials have said the penalties for non-compliance would likely begin with warnings and fines.
Two weeks ago Howard-Browne told constituents to continue shaking hands at his church because they’re not ‘pansies”.