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Comments about ‘Salt Lake police officer says he was 'uncomfortable' with parade assignment’

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Published: Monday, June 9 2014 6:40 p.m. MDT

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MoNoMo
Fair Oaks, CA

Keep in mind that this officer had to apply to part of the "Motor Squad." According to the Police Department website:

"The squad works many special events during the year, including parades, funerals, sporting events, runs, and more. The squad is mostly known for its precision riding during the 24th of July parade, which is attended by thousands of community members."

He knew he would be participating in "parades" when he applied for the job. The Pride Parade has been in SLC for how long. Seems reasonable that this duty was part of the job when he applied for the position.

Also as part of his Oath for Office: "I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decision. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear of favor, malice of ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities."

Just how were his rights violated?

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Being a motor cop is an assignment one volunteers for. One of the primary functions is to perform in parades. He acknowledged this when he accepted the offer to become a member. He took a spot from others who wanted this prime assignment. And now he's upset because they asked him to participate in a parade that made him uncomfortable? The unit accepted the invitation; members of the unit are obligated, by contract, to participate.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The Courts recently ruled in favor of a dept that disciplined an officer for refusing to participate in a community building event at a mosque.

FanOfTheSith
Vernal, UT

Interesting how he was automatically looked upon as being a "bigot" when all he was saying was he was "uncomfortable" "for the assignment of riding in-front of the parade due to his religious beliefs." I guess he was already looked upon as "guilty with no room of proven innocent." I firmly believed that the PR communication from SLCPD in-front of the media was done very poorly by the Spokesperson who of course was saying what the SLCPD's policy was saying but came out as if was saying like this Police Officer was a "bigot."

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

"We enforce bias and bigotry in the department, regardless of 1st amendment protections concerning religious liberty” is what Jones really said Friday.

Skeptic,
He has. I guess you did not read the article

CowboyPhD,
If they were being assaulted, or had their home burglarized, I’m confident he would have served them as his job required. He should not be required to help them celebrate their sexuality.

mornixuur,
no, you missed it. He asked for reassignment.

CHS85,
So medical people who oppose abortion should be forced to perform them?

Patrick Henry, Darrell
Read the 1st amendment, then try again. If government is forcing them to leave their beliefs at the door, the government is violating the 1st amendment. Government makes religious accommodations ALL THE TIME!

Hutterite,
Thanks for supporting my assertion that the gay movement wants to do away with the first amendment religious protections.

I M LD_ 2
Jesus did not condone the sins, either, as this afficer felt he was being asked to do.

Old man,
For once I agree with you.

UltraBob,
Ever hear of a conscientious objector?

illuminated
St George, UT

Superman1 has it right:

"SLCPD did not pull regular officers off of their assigned beat to work security for this parade. They pulled in extra officers - those who wanted the extra pay. It should have been the same for the motors. If he was required by SLCPD to attend this parade, as a motor, then I think it's SLCPD that messed up."

I've known a few police officers and events like this (parades) usually fall on the volunteer side of their duties, for those who want a little "overtime" so to speak. I've never known someone to get put on leave for being uncomfortable with an assignment like this.

Would it not be acceptable for a police chief to grant the wishes of a black officer to decline leading a KKK or white supremacist parade? Or a gay officer to attend an anti-gay rally? I'm sure there would be plenty of other officers who could work in their place. If "serve and protect" is the motto of our police, wouldn't people be better served and protected if the officer assigned felt comfortable doing it?

"We don't tolerate intolerance"

GeorgiaUte
Milledgeville, GA

1) He was NOT unwilling or refusing to serve select members of the community (LGBT)
2) He "asked" for a different assignment, but was willing to do it anyway if his request was refused.
3) He was still willing to serve and protect ALL people by asking to be placed on duty in a serving and protecting capacity - NOT a ceremonial one.
4) Without responding to his request, he was placed on leave and the media was notified.
5) His attorney responded to the media, while the department declined, citing bigotry and making sure to declare that they have gay officers on the staff.

There was no bigotry involved here. No insubordination or refusal to do a job. The department will be sued and will lose or settle out of court. It could have been avoided if they had just declined the officer's request, forcing him to then make the choice.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

All this time we have been hearing that the officer refused to serve in the gay activity. He claims he merely ASKED for a role in this activity that was less public. If the officer is correct, those who lied about him deserve to lose their job in the force.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

Remember this, many of you, if your house goes up in flames. Perhaps some of the firemen won't like putting out fires in houses that are yellow, or putting out fires in Christian homes, etc.

Public service is PUBLIC SERVICE. Most of you I'm guessing have never held a position of public trust. Nowhere does your oath give you the option to decide which aspect of the PUBLIC you will serve.

rad3
SLC, UT

I knew it would be a mistake to read the comments to this article. So much hate. Many of your comments are very hurtful.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: "The officer simply felt that the level of participation required in the event could be perceived as endorsing or advocating in favor of the LGBTQ community"...

I have a problem with this logic. If the police department riding in the gay pride parade indicates the riders are "endorsing" or "advocating" in favor of the LGBTQ community... does that mean the PD riding in the days of 47 parade indicates endorsing or advocating the pioneer community?

Obviously it doesn't. This was bad logic on his part. He should have just done his job.

====

He did offer to work security though (which is the PDs REAL job). They should have let him do security instead of actually appearing in the parade or be fired.

Both sides could have handled this better IMO.

illuminated
St George, UT

@CHS

"Public service is PUBLIC SERVICE."

False. Trying to equate an LGBT parade to a house burning down is a terrible comparison. Please stop with the phony straw-man hyperbole.

The man DID not refuse to protect the LGBT parade, he merely requested a different assignment because he felt uncomfortable riding with a group that he disagreed with. The only bigotry and hate here came from the department in disrespecting its employees beliefs. Instead of denying his request for a different assignment, amicably, they instead chose hate and bigotry.

More and more people are coming to the conclusion that the real bigotry and hate is coming from the LGBT community because of actions like this and many others. Here's my advice: If you want people to come out and accept your cause, do it with love and respect. Ask for tolerance by showing tolerance. This type of hate will only cause more and more people to turn your backs on your cause.

Learn to love and respect people that peacefully disagree with your agenda.

suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT

I support fully this officer's feelings and beliefs. Good for him for standing for what he believes. The force lost an exceptional police officer and someday they will realize this. I wouldn't want to ride near or in front of a group of people of whom I do not support or believe are right in their endeavors. I'm proud of this officer.

Gram Cracker
Price, UT

That is SO wrong. Shame on the Salt Lake Police Department. Shame, shame on them.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

men kissing other men ...what's to be uncomfortable about?

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

"We don't tolerate bias and bigotry in the department, and assignments are assignments," Jones said Friday.

Police officers job is to provide security. Not to endorse one view point or another. The article said that he was doing because of his religious views. Why then does Jones say that it was because of bigotry? if the department doesn't tolerate bias and bigotry then why is the department spokesperson making statements like this. Should Jones be terminated for making such judgmental, bigoted statements. Fair is fair.

In 1980 neo-Nazis wanted to have a march in Skokie, Il, The city would not give them a permit. The ACLU sued and won. Skokie had to give them a permit. There were officers who had to provide security to the march. That is proper and decent. But they did not have to show support to the march.

Jimmytheliberal
Salt Lake City, UT

@LovelyDesert...I'll make certain to make this as elementary as possible. Obviously you are against equality for all but you attended this parade anyway? Makes perfect sense based on your highly intellectual comments regarding this issue. In closing, I'm offended by your posts so therefore I feel you should stop commenting...Get my point?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

There is still a lot of misinformation going on about this. According to the officer's lawyer, the officer was asked to participate in a motorcycle group that performs in the parade. The officer was being told to participate in the parade, not to protect the people.

Imagine your boss told you that you had to participate in something outside your job function, and was something you do not agree with. Would you look to find somebody to replace you or would you give up?

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@dmcvey: "Why are there so many comments saying that this is about the LGBT community being bigoted?"

Simple. There are a lot of gay people who come to this page and talk about being liberal this and liberal that. As soon as someone disagrees with their views says something all of a sudden they sound like some right wing Arizona sheriff talking about illegal immigrants and law and order and they've never heard of diversity or tolerance. If an Oregon florist won't sell flowers for a gay wedding I am hearing, "Businesses exist to make money, not to have morals." It sounds like someone from Enron or a Las Vegas casino magnate talking to the Tea Party.

It is hard to tell who is liberal and who is just a closet conservative.

keepamericafree
salt lake, UT

This is in regards to the officer who was assigned to participate in the gay pride parade. Officers pay comes from tax payers and these officers represent the tax payers and have a position in the community. Participating in an agenda based parade shows endorsement! NO officers in uniform should be participating in a parade that represents a political agenda at all, let alone forced! This officer should be commended for standing up for what is right. Write to the mayor and our governor. This man should be reinstated and promoted and his superiors fired!

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