|Screencap of KAZ "exclusive" video of staged arrest|
Barry attempted to defend his office's actions to the Akron Beacon:
Barry said his deputies (two who were off duty and unpaid and two who were on duty and paid) participated as an act of good will to help the faith community in its efforts.
“I feel we have an obligation to the community as part of our community policing and community relations,” Barry said. “It took nothing away from their assignments and it was a good way to continue building relationships.”
None of the three pastors who were “arrested” on Sunday — the Rev. Melford Elliott, pastor at Greater Bethel Baptist Church; the Rev. Robert Golson, pastor at Prince of Peace Baptist Church; and the Rev. Vincent Peterson, pastor at Providence Baptist Church — could be reached for comment.