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Body worn camera footage shows interaction with church staff & city officials over COVID-19 violations

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 04, 2021

BALTIMORE — Recently released body worn camera footage showed what happened when Baltimore's Social Task Force showed up to a packed megachurch back in March.

As WMAR-2 News has reported, Greater Grace World Outreach Church had repeatedly violated COVID-19 rules and ignored an order by the Baltimore City Health Department to shut down.

On March 17th, the plan appeared to disperse the crowd of 300 plus parishioners inside. In the end, law enforcement decided to stand down and let services continue without interruption.

When officials first attempted to enter the building, a guard blocked the doorway.

Moments later the church's chief of operations, Peter Taggart came out to confront health officials. He was recorded on camera.

"You don’t have permission to enter the building without a warrant," Taggert said on camera. "I’m telling you that."

After a half-hour of back-and-forth conversations outside the church eventually ended. Church officials did let a few inspectors enter the building, but only to document their violations.

In the end, according to a health department spokesperson, Greater Grace was fined $100.00.

As WMAR-2 News has reported, despite findings by officials, the church continued to disobey the health department through Easter. It operated without requiring face masks or social distancing in auditorium, all the while livestreaming sermons, baptisms and plays.

WMAR reached out to Greater Grace by phone and email for comment. In a phone call Friday afternoon Peter Taggart said, "the church had no comment at this time."

The church currently in good standings with the city and has no outstanding complaints as of today's date.