A B.C. broadcaster whose leg was broken after an aggressive confrontation with a street preacher in August has filed a civil lawsuit, naming Vancouver city officials, local police and the preacher.
Justin Morissette, a Vancouver-based sports broadcaster, interrupted an anti-LGBTQ street preacher’s sermon in July 2020. It was alleged that he was attacked by preacher Dorre Love and another man who has not been named. Morissette was left with two broken bones and a dislocated knee.
Six months later, Morissette is just now able to fully weight bear on the leg, but is not yet walking or back to work.
In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 19, Morissette claims the city and police failed to keep the peace.
Morissette’s lawyer Jim Hanson told Black Press Media the city and police were well aware of the nuisance Love was causing in the West End.
“This gentleman was spewing hate speech from a microphone on the corner. He was making the area around unlivable because of his persistent haranguing. His loud speech was offensive and full of hatred and vitriol,” Hanson claimed.
Love and the ministry he was associated with are also named in the suit.
Love, who has said in the past he acted in self defense, has been charged with aggravated assault but has not yet been tried in court.
He shared a news report of the incident last August on social media with the caption, “Christian Discrimination. Preacher wrongfully arrested.”
Morissette and Hanson are arguing that “a man doesn’t have the right to stand on a street corner and spew hatred towards the LGBT community or any other community.”
The organization Love is affiliated with, called Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries, was founded in Toronto and features projects like “Church is Essential”, “Christian Positive Space” and “Stop Bullying Christians Now.”
Morissette is seeking compensation, as well as to set a precedent that local governments have a responsibility to ensure that anti-social, hateful conduct is brought to an end.
A spokesperson with the city said officials havn’t received the notice of claim yet and declined to comment. Love and Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries have not responded to requests for interview.
According to the online court registry, no responses have been filed as of Feb. 24.
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