‘They violated this church’: Pastor outraged after police raid
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South pastor is outraged after deputies and police officers swarmed his church looking for a fugitive.
Andre Guy-Reed, pastor of Revelation Christian Center, said it gives his church and ministry a bad name.
It happened Friday, July 13, and officers found the man they were looking for at his last known address next door to the church.
"If we had not have had cameras operating there's no way in the world anybody would believe the story I'm telling now," Pastor Guy-Reed said.
Pastor Guy-Reed shared video from church security cameras showing Memphis police and Shelby County Sheriff's deputies on the multi-agency gang unit entering the church in search of the fugitive.
The pastor said officers opened a window, picked a lock, and forced a church caretaker outside.
The problem? The man they were looking for wasn't there.
"They came into this church with guns drawn, they went into my pastor's study, they searched every closet in this church, they violated this church," Pastor Guy-Reed said.
Investigators were looking for 33-year-old Andre Lowe, who they said violated parole. His ankle bracelet was pinging within 79 feet of 2251 Stovall, which backs up to the church.
An affidavit shows he surrendered to authorities on Stovall Avenue, which according to the complaint was his last known address.
"I literally had to go into meditation for a couple hours because I did not believe I saw what happened in God's house," Pastor Guy-Reed said.
The pastor said the raid had no connection to the church and damaged his reputation in the community.
In fact, he's even helped police before as noted in a framed 2009 article where he convinced one armed bank robber to turn himself in.
He sent a complaint to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings over Friday's raid.
Late Tuesday, MPD Deputy Director Mike Ryall and a commander were seen entering the church for a meeting with Pastor Guy-Reed.
The pastor said MPD officials noted they are still trying to determine why the situation played out the way it did.
Director Ryall said afterward that police had a good dialogue with the pastor and want to partner in the future on community initiatives.
When asked why police entered the church in the first place if the suspect was actually found at his known address, Director Ryall said there are a variety of strategies used when searching for wanted fugitives.
He also declined an on-camera interview.
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