MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — The congregation of a Richmond church flouted a state ban on large gatherings Sunday and the pastor was cited, according to a statement released Thursday by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.
The violation involved some 40 congregants who met for an Easter service at the All Nations Church of God in Christ in North Richmond. No one present was wearing a face covering or appeared to be practicing social distancing, according to the statement.READ MORE: San Francisco Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Jump 567%; Mayor, Police Chief Pledge Response, Urge Residents To Report Crimes
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A deputy, responding to an anonymous complaint of unlawful assembly, attempted to speak to the pastor but was refused and left the church to file a report which resulted in a misdemeanor citation issued on Monday.
The sheriff’s office later filed a case for prosecution with the Contra Costa office of the district attorney.MORE NEWS: Western Monarch Butterfly Population Rebounding In California But Still Below Historic Levels
“Our focus has been on education of the health officer order and, in the vast majority of cases, we ask for voluntary compliance and that solves the problem,” Contra Costa sheriff David Livingston said in a statement. “This was different. The pastor refused to cooperate and put the lives of dozens of parishioners at risk.”