Jackson, Mississippi — A former police officer who served in law enforcement for nearly 20 years was arrested by a professing Christian commander this week outside of the last abortion facility in Mississippi.
Chet Gallagher was among the latest to be taken into custody at Jackson Women’s Health Organization in the state capital. As previously reported, Christians who have been standing for life at the facility have reported an escalation of arrests and harassment in recent months.
“I’m not sure what the charges are for,” he told Christian News Network. “I’ve got this little hand-held speaker, and was speaking into the parking lot where the moms and dads are coming in with the babies to be killed.”
See the end of the article for video footage of the arrest.
Gallagher stated that Commander James McGowan, who took him into custody, has been making it a point to eye the Christians closely and intimidate them should they step off the curb or rest their signs on the ground.
“When someone accidentally steps into the street, or maybe is standing in the street — sometimes we do have several people, so they’re standing just on the other side of the curb — or … they’re standing there and the signs that they’re holding are touching the ground, he’ll confiscate the signs and say, ‘I’m going to take you to jail and you’re going to be arrested,'” he explained.
“This commander has made it his personal quest to protect this killing center,” Gallagher lamented. “He’s done absolutely nothing to take to task the other folks who are intimidating us and screaming in our face, and holding the cameras up and making false reports.”
He said that what baffles him the most is that Commander McGowan agrees with the message of the Gospel that is being preached.
“The sad thing is that he’s a professing Christian. He professes Jesus and believes that what he’s doing is a service to God,” Gallagher stated. “I grieve for him; I really do. This is a senior commanding officer in this police department, and he’s coming down to enforce minor traffic rules and regulations just to intimidate the Christians.”
“[W]hen I was getting ready to go into the jail, one of [the officers] lectured me and said, ‘Don’t respond; I’m just going to talk,'” he recalled. “[And he said to me,] ‘I’m glad you’re here preaching the Gospel. Matter of fact, I invite you to come and preach the Gospel again.”
He outlined that McGowan had also joked a bit while taking him into custody.
“While he’s putting handcuffs on me, he says, ‘Well, I understand you were a police officer before. I want to thank you for your service,'” Gallagher recalled, making the “click, click” sound of the handcuffs.
Gallagher had indeed served as a police officer for nearly 20 years. He stated that God first moved upon his heart to start protecting unborn babies in the late 1980’s when he served in law enforcement.
“I became convinced that not only were real babies dying, but that God created them for an eternal purpose,” Gallagher explained. “It was a process that I went through.”
However, the turning point for the former officer came on January 28, 1989 while serving in Las Vegas.
“I went on my motorcycle on duty that day and stood in the midst of those people that were sitting around and blocking access to the door [of the abortion facility],” Gallagher recalled. “There were 92 of them; 10 pastors.”
“I had prepared a statement to read, and I did that, which was a plea to my fellow officers not to arrest the ones who were doing their jobs in saving the innocent,” he continued. “My supervisors, after hearing that, were not at all impressed. My sergeant came forward and said, ‘You’re suspended. Walk away.'”
However, Gallagher stood his ground.
“I could have [walked away], but I was convinced as my words became life that what I had said was true, and I told him, ‘Steve, I know you don’t believe they’re killing babies on the side of the store, … but as a police officer, I cannot walk away from what I know to be a murder in progress,'” he explained. “So, that left him no alternative but to arrest me. I was the first one arrested that day, and was later fired.”
Although some within the police force desired to restore Gallagher to his position, Sheriff John Moran disagreed and let the firing stand. Gallagher later presented the world with the fruits of his labor.
“We had a press conference outside the killing center and the media asked me, ‘Are you happy you did this? Any regrets?'” Gallagher remembered. “And I held up Joshua, a baby that had been saved that very day from being cut into pieces, and showed him to the reporters.”
The former officer has been passionate about saving lives ever since, and has been active in pro-life ministry for the past 24 years.
“I could have saved my retirement. I could have saved my job if I had just walked away and been reprimanded,” he said. “But thank God that Jesus let me know that was the defining moment that I was to choose to obey my King and not just my earthly superior.”
Gallagher is waiting to receive notification of the official charges from his arrest this week. His arraignment is set for June 12th in Jackson, Mississippi.