An anti-vaccine organization leader, who recently set out on a cross-country road trip with the end goal of conducting citizen arrests of Democratic governors, has found himself behind bars.
On Tuesday afternoon, anti-vax “Vaccine Police” leader Christopher Paul Key was arrested and booked into Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Alabama, stemming from a criminal trespassing in the third degree charge.
A Jefferson County Jail representative confirmed to the Daily Beast Tuesday evening that Key is being held without bond.
The anti-vaxxer, who “serves” packets of documents that supposedly show that the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is supposedly a “bioweapon,” had a court hearing earlier Tuesday over an arrest at a Whole Foods in April, where Key was cited with trespassing. (A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told The Daily Beast Wednesday morning Key was arrested and taken into custody by the “court bailiff” after the judge's order. “He was placed in the jail by the judge,” the spokesperson added.)
“I have court today at 1:30 central,” Key texted The Daily Beast ahead of his hearing, “it will be interesting.” In a subsequent series of five videos posted to Telegram on Tuesday afternoon, Key recorded himself “walking into court,” only to be stopped by someone off-camera who informed him he must wear a face covering. “I got arrested cuz I wouldn't wear a mask,” he said at one point, “and this is what this thing is all about!”
Speaking to a court-appointed attorney outside the courtroom, Key could be heard stating, “Again. You can't. I'm competent.” “I'm not insane,” Key continued, fumbling with a series of legal terms before claiming he is a “complete, total free man.”
“I am completely sane. I don't need an attorney,” he added, “I am a free man.”
Ahead of the hearing, Key refused to wear a face covering, citing a “medical, religious exemption,” while arguing with an unidentifiable individual that he is allowed to “record” in the courtroom for his “protection.” A courtroom official could be heard telling Key he might have the option to video call into the hearing. “She's now broken the law twice,” Key then declared regarding the judge presiding over the case.
At the end of December, Key set out on his road trip with the goal of arresting Democratic state governors over their vaccine mandates. In a series of Telegram posts in mid-December, Key also showed off an arsenal of weapons, including a flamethrower and high capacity firearms.
Key, who initially gain national notoriety after threatening to “execute” pharmacists, further told The Daily Beast that he had been busy traveling across the country “serving” state officials with packets of information. Additionally, the anti-vaxxer said he could be left to conduct countless citizen arrests of Democratic governors across the nation, not only limited to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“And yes, if the other governors try to do what Louisiana did,” he said. “Yes, we will be arresting all of those governors also.”
“The government is we the people,” he said to explain why he had the authority to arrest governors. “That is the government!”
On Tuesday evening, neither Key nor his “Vaccine Police” organization returned The Daily Beast's request for comment.
Key said that he had “no idea what has happened,” in a call-in interview from a jail phone to the far-right personality Stew Peters' program.
“I have no idea how long I will be in jail," he said, adding: “We are still doing God's work.”