Street preacher files lawsuit against Town of Burgaw, police chief

Burgaw Police Department
Burgaw Police Department (Photo: WWAY)

By Andy Pettigrew
Post & Voice Publisher

BURGAW, NC (Post & Voice) — A lawsuit has been filed by a street preacher who was cited during the 2016 NC Blueberry Festival violating a Burgaw town ordinance.

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Patrick O’Connell filed the suit on March 16 challenging the town’s ordinance titled “Designation of alternate public forum to exercise free speech.”

The ordinance, passed by the town board in October 2015, designates a specific location for free speech activities during festivals in Burgaw.

O’Connell, who was preaching during the Blueberry Festival, was cited by Police Chief Jim Hock, who is also named in the lawsuit. O’Connell refused to move from the Courthouse Square to the alternate location. O’Connell left the square after receiving the citation.

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