After three years, since my arrest on August 16, 2006, I recently received a subpoena to attend the disciplinary hearing of the arresting officer, Constable Eric Langlois. I learned that he has been charged under the Police Service Regulation, that he did commit Discreditable Conduct, section 5(2)(d)(i). I felt a deep prompting from the Lord to publicly express my heart felt forgiveness for this officer, and as a matter of fact to all of those that, through the years, wronged us or abused their powers over us.
I have included my statement to the disciplinary hearing below. Let me know what you think about it and please pray that the hearts of many would be touched with the message of Christ’s love that we will share with them. Remember, God is giving us opportunities everywhere. We just have to seize them, and love and pray for those that persecute us for righteousness sake. The greatest weapon that I have learned about is love which is always more powerful than hatred. Love always wins!
My name is Artur Pawlowski, and I am proud to be a Canadian. I stand for democracy, and the rule of law. I value the freedom given to us by our constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have always intended and I still intend, as long as I have breath, to exercise those state and God given rights.
In 2006, Constable Eric Langlois arrested me for exercising my rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of peaceful assembly. I am not denying that what he did was wrong. Everyone that values fundamental freedoms would agree that it was. But as the years have past, I am learning more and more to show compassion, mercy, love, but most important, in relation to this case, forgiveness.
I am grateful for this opportunity to look into this man’s face, look into his eyes, and from the bottom of my heart and say, ‘you are not only forgiven now, but I forgave you in that police car when you arrested me’. There are always consequences for our actions, but I wish that we all could put this unfortunate incident behind us. I am not after this constable’s job, everyone does wrong at one point or another, we are just human beings, and we all make mistakes. My only desire today is that we all would learn from these kinds of difficult situations and come out edified and better for it, making sure that similar incidents will not happen again.
As a believer in Christ, I want to extend my hand of forgiveness towards Constable Eric Langlois. I hope and pray that the past will stay in the past and that this act of forgiveness would be symbolic of a new relationship of working together for the good of all the people. Not only with Mr. Langlois, and myself, but between the entire Police Department and our Street Church ministry. I also pray that from now on, we would confront the problems facing our city together, understanding that we can combine our efforts and bring to the table our own talents and gifts and have greater impact working as a team than we ever could apart.
We must remember that there is much more at stake than our relationship with one another. People’s lives and futures are in the balance, and we would be wise to concentrate on dealing with the great issues at hand, rather than focusing on the differences in the way that we approach dealing with those issues.
I am reminded that Jesus Christ commands us to forgive as we have received His forgiveness. As a pastor representing my Lord, I can do no other. So today, please accept my forgiveness and let us move forward, side by side, in an effort to confront homelessness, drugs, gangs, prostitution, violence and corruption.
In the end what I want all of us to remember, is not the officer’s clearly wrong actions, but that there is power in forgiveness, and power in love. That is what should motivate us to move forward.
With all sincerity,
on Behalf of Street Church Ministries