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Organizer of 100-person second line arrested for setting up a public gathering

NOPD officers arrested him Monday, two days after being called to break up the celebration.

NEW ORLEANS — The man accused of organizing a second line that brought more than 100 people together was arrested Monday by police for organizing a public gathering in defiance of the city's stay at home mandate. 

NOPD officers arrested Cecil Spencer around 4:15 Monday after issuing a warrant for him Sunday. It's unclear based on booking records what he was charged with.

The second line formed Saturday afternoon in the 3000 block of Audubon Street, south of Gert Town. Spencer was arrested on the same block. 

According to the NOPD, officers responded Saturday to a report of a large gathering at the location. When they arrived they found a band playing and about 100 people at the location. 

Police said they asked the organizers to shut down the event and they refused. 

The band's leader, identified as Clifton Smith, was issued a summons, according to police.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards have both issued orders banning large gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak in Louisiana. 

The NOPD has formed a task force to cite businesses that do not comply with regulations imposed by the orders. It is unclear if that task force had anything to do with Monday's arrest. 

Bail was not set for Spencer Monday evening, and it is unclear when he will see a judge, especially with the city's court system shut down because of the virus. 

City officials said more arrests would be made as people were identified from the second line. 

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