Jose Muniz and Todd Leibovitz | Cases | First Liberty

Police Restrict Evangelists from Sharing Faith on Public Property

San Antonio police unlawfully arrested and imprisoned overnight Todd Leibovitz, a recent Bible college graduate, for peacefully speaking about the Christian faith and sharing passages from the Bible on a public sidewalk in San Antonio. In addition, the San Antonio police unlawfully harassed and threatened with arrest Jose Muniz, a full time Christian minister, for sharing his faith and handing out religious literature on a public sidewalk .

The policies, customs, and practices of the city of San Antonio which led to Mr. Leibovitz’s arrest and imprisonment and the harassment and threats of arrest against Mr. Muniz infringed upon the evangelists’ constitutional rights, including their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion.

Legal Action

On September 9, 2010, First Liberty Institute filed a federal lawsuit against the city of San Antonio and the police officers involved in the unlawful actions against Mr. Leibovitz and Mr. Muniz. The lawsuit challenged the city’s unconstitutional policies, customs, and practices.

In May 2013, the two evangelists, with First Liberty’s assistance, reached a settlement with the city of San Antonio and the police officers. In the agreement, the city recognized that the right to peacefully share faith in public is guaranteed by the constitutions of both the United States and the State of Texas. 

This victory protects the ability of people of faith in San Antonio to peacefully share their faith and distribute religious literature without fear of being treated like a criminal or facing jail time.

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