By Chris Stigall and Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Michael Grant, who has gained a modicum of notoriety around the city through his persona as “Philly Jesus” was arrested in Love Park over the weekend for disorderly conduct and failure to disperse.

 

His lawyer, Charles Gibbs, talked with both Chris Stigall and Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT and said the Philadelphia Police are “trying to crucify” Grant for spreading his faith.

“Instead of going out and  putting leaflets in peoples face and talking about Jesus, (Grant) says that by dressing as Jesus, people walk up to him and he can then have a conversation about his faith. He’s a young man who’s very passionate about what he believes and this is how he spends his days.”

Grant has admitted prior addiction to heroin and feels dressing up as “Philly Jesus” aids his rehabilitation. Gibbs believes the arrest had more to do with his tumultuous past than any offense he committed while engaging onlookers.

 

“The City of Philadelphia vis-à-vis the police department thought that standing in Love Park and talking about Jesus and taking pictures with people who want to take pictures with Philly Jesus is somehow a criminal act and the reality is it is the most protected speech you can have.”

Gibbs thinks the current charges against Grant are completely without merit and expects his client to be fully vindicated once this case makes its way through the legal system.

“Those charges mean you didn’t do what the cops wanted you to do. Not because the cop had a legal reason, not because the law supports whatever the police officer said to you, this is a catch-all charge.”

 

You may also be interested in these stories:
[display-posts category=”talkers” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]