Music Church Amends Complaint

A civil rights lawsuits filed last October against Fayette County in Pennsylvania by William Pritts of the Church of Universal Love and Music was amended April 21 to include details of alleged excessive force by police during an August 2009 raid on church property.

In the complaint, Pritts alleges police, who didn’t identify themselves, pulled down a woman’s shirt and skirt in front of a group of men, shoved a gun into a man’s face, and pulled up the shirt and bra of a 14-year-old girl during the church’s three-day “Funk Fest.”

Officers with the Fayette County Drug Task Force reportedly seized large amounts of marijuana, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms and hundreds of pot pipes and bongs from concertgoers. More than 20 people were arrested on various charges.

County officials and Pritts had settled a years-long zoning dispute/religious freedom lawsuit less than six months before the raid.
Under the settlement, the county agreed to pay Pritts $75,000 and allow him to host 12 concerts a year with the stipulation that no drug use be allowed during the events.

After the arrests a judge banned concerts on the property and Pritts decided to move the church.