Bangor Rescinds Trespass Order For Man who Erased Chalk Messages
The City of Bangor has rescinded a no trespass order against a man who erased chalk messages being written by a church group.
Controversy has surrounded an incident on Friday, August 7th, when the Mansion Church of Bangor started writing Bible verses in chalk on the pavement of Westmarket and Pickering Squares. A local resident, who felt the messages represented hate speech against the LGBTQ community, used a mop and bucket to erase the words in the presence of the members of 'Sidewalk Scriptures.'
Bangor Police were called when an argument broke out between the man and members of the church group. Officers said they attempted to deescalate the situation and found one man to be cooperative while the other was not. That man was given a no trespass order and told not to return to Pickering Square for a year. No one was hurt in the incident.
Much discussion has followed the incident, including a meeting of the Downtown Bangor Partnership and Bangor Police, that was streamed live on Facebook. On Saturday, the City of Bangor posted on its Facebook page an explanation of its position on the matter, including revealing that the no trespass order had been rescinded. They said the officers acted reasonably based upon the information they were able to gather during their investigations at the scene. However, the post goes on to say, 'it is not the City's policy to issue no-trespass orders against citizens engaged in peaceful protest,' adding that it's the duty of the City Manager and Police to uphold the constitutional rights of free speech for all members of the community, even those whose speech some may not like.
The Bangor City Council and City Staff have been, and always will be, supportive of all Bangor citizens including members of the LGBTQ community. No one in our community should have to live in fear of reprisals from others who do not accept them for who they are.
The recission of the no trespass order is effective immediately.