Local Activist, Pastor Arrested In Connection With Sept. 2 Freddie Gray Protests

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A local pastor and activist in the Freddie Gray protests was taken into custody on Wednesday night on charges stemming from last week’s protests during the first hearing of the Freddie Gray case.

Police confirm to WJZ that Pastor Westley West was arrested  tonight and was taken into custody without incident.

According to authorities, following the conclusion of peaceful protests on September 2, Westley West allegedly lead a group of assembled protesters southbound on Guilford Avenue which blocked traffic.

YouTube video released by Baltimore Police shows the incident unfold.

Police say the protesters proceeded westbound on Lombard Street and then southbound on South Calvert Street, all walking in the lanes of traffic.

Baltimore Police’s aviation unit Foxtrot observed a lone protestor, later identified as West, using a bullhorn, standing in the middle of the 200 block of East Pratt Street near the intersection of South Calvert Street. Police say during this time, West deliberately stepped in front of a red 2008 Ford F150 pick-up truck, walking backwards at times, attempting to stop the vehicle under his own manpower. West is accused of striking the hood of the F150 with his bullhorn and deliberately leaning into the truck.

(Still Frame from Baltimore Police YouTube video)

(Still Frame from Baltimore Police YouTube video)

“Mr. West appeared to be agitated and his observed actions were violent and hostile in nature,” said Baltimore Police Spokesperson T.J. Smith.

Moments after the incident police say they approached the group that was forming with West, but they began to flee and officers did not pursue.

“After September 2, we were able to positively identify West and get information from the victim inside the car who came forward,” Smith said.

City police obtained an arrest warrant on September 8 on charges of attempted to incite a riot, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, disturbance of peace, false imprisonment and failure to obey.

“What Pastor West did was a crime. It’s not fair to anyone who wants to protest the right way,” said Smith. “We hope people look at the video of West and put one of their loved ones in the scenario that the person in that car was in.”

Cell phone video obtained by WJZ shows West being taken into custody without incident.

West is currently being held as he awaits his bail hearing.

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