He was arrested less than 30 minutes later, and the two others were arrested a short time after that, even though they had not actually been reading the Bible aloud.
The men believed they had a First Amendment right to free speech and they were standing in a planter in the parking lot and were on public property.
A member of the California Highway Patrol approached Mackey, grabbed his Bible and arrested him. Then Coronado and Flores asked the officer, "What law was he breaking?" ...
If they were reading parts of decent Bibles, well, yes, then it would be a violation of Freedom of Speech.