Police Pay Street Preacher Wrongfully Arrested for Islamophobia

Oluwole Ilesanmi (YouTube/Christian Concern)

Scotland Yard awarded $3.056 to a street preacher they wrongfully arrested for racism in February.

Oluwole Ilesanmi pleaded with police officers "not [to] take my Bible away" as they handcuffed him. A video of his arrest in London has since gone viral with 2.9 million views.

Police received a phone call accusing Ilesanmi of Islamophobia before they arrested him. Ilesanmi admitted to calling Islam an "aberration" but says he was simply expressing his Christian views, not spreading hatred for Muslims.

In the video, 64-year-old Ilesanmi tells a police officer that "Jesus is on the way."

The officer replied: "I appreciate that, but nobody wants to listen to that. They want you to go away."

Police released Ilesanmi without charging him and, later on, conducted an internal investigation into the arrest.

As a result, courts awarded Ilesanmi with £2,500 for false imprisonment, mental trauma, and exceptional humiliation and degradation.

"When I came to the U.K., it was a free Christian country, but now preachers like me are being arrested for speaking the truth," Ilesanmi says. "Christians and freedom of speech must be protected, especially by the government and police. I hope this recognition of fault can lead to more Christians being protected and the police gaining greater insight into what it means to lawfully proclaim the Word of God on our streets."

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