His reckless behavior may have endangered numerous lives.
Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of Tampa, Florida, had kept the doors of his church open defying urgent stay-at-home orders, endangering the lives of numerous people who congregated at the service. The pastor was defiant and had refused to shut the doors even when the cases in America are growing exponentially.
As reported by NBC, the Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said: "Last night I made the decision to seek an arrest warrant for the pastor of a local church who intentionally and repeatedly chose to disregard the orders set in place by our president, our governor, the CDC and the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group."
He added: "His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people from his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week."
Howard-Browne has been charged with two counts: unlawful assembly and a violation of health emergency rules.
Chronister said: "Dr. Ronald Howard-Browne refused requests to temporarily stop holding large gatherings at his church and instead he was encouraging his large congregation to meet at his church." And he added: "Pastor Howard-Browne's actions were a direct violation of Executive Order 20-5, which went into effect on March 20, limiting gatherings — including faith-based gatherings — to less than 10 people. "
This may have been a necessary step by the authorities to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and also to follow the law at such times, especially as the number of cases in Florida has already crossed 5,000, and is expected to grow even more in the coming times.