MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Four people arrested Saturday night in Midland outside of St. Ann's Fair are now speaking out about the incident. They claim they didn't break any laws.
The four people arrested call themselves 'street preachers'. They tell NewsWest 9 they were voicing their beliefs on a public sidewalk on the corner of Texas Avenue and N Street before they were taken away in handcuffs.
"We set up on a public sidewalk and began to preach and lift up our voice and we began using amplification and before long it caused a stir," said Clarence Davis, one of the street preachers who was arrested.
"The hecklers in the crowd, being a church function, they treated us pretty badly," said Nino Rodriguez, one of the street preachers.
The self-proclaimed street preachers say they checked with organizers of the St. Ann's Fair and got the green light.
"She let us know that we couldn't preach inside but we could go across the street," said Davis.
After hours on the street corners in front of the fair, the Midland Police Department says the street preachers were asked to move to a different area due to all the foot traffic.
"Stood our ground and let them know that we were going to preach the gospel in a public area and public passageway and they began to come at us and let us know that we were going to jail because we were obstructing," said Davis.
The Midland Police Department says when the street preachers did not move they were taken into custody, but those arrested tell NewsWest 9 a different story. They say they were willing to move to a different spot.
"We wanted to exercise our first amendment right of free speech to preach the gospel," said Davis.
The Midland Police department tells us the arrests were not made because they were preaching or protesting. It was for obstructing a sidewalk and disobeying officers. The street preachers say their arrest hasn't changed a thing.
"It actually encourages me. I'm going to be out here more often. We are out here constantly, out on the streets preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ because he saves," said Rodriguez.