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Florida Pastor Arrested for Holding Church Services A Florida pastor who defied state orders by hosting two well-attended services over the weekend has been arrested.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne faces one count each of unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules, both second-degree misdemeanors, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

“His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger,” Chronister says. Chronister says sheriff’s officials were in contact with Howard-Browne as early as Friday, warning him to cancel his plans to move forward with Sunday’s services at Tamp Bay Church.

The services violated the state’s order to keep public gatherings to groups of less than 10 people. Do more arrests need to be made so people will start taking state orders more seriously?

Since officials haven’t warned people of legal ramifications, was it fair to arrest the pastor?