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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Keaau, HI

Helaman 13: 13-14

Provo, UT

Liberal Ted

"If you have 400 employees and only 1 said they would like to work elsewhere, then why not comply?"

Because the Salt Lake City Police Motorcycle Squad doesn't have 400 officers. It fluctuates around 30 depending on the year and size of a training class. Those 30 officers participate in approximately 300+ special events including parades, festivals, funerals and races which they know are part of their assignment even before they apply for the prestigious and elite Motorcycle Squad. The Motorcycle Squad places a lot of resources and training into officers who they select to be a part of that special unit. They aren't going to call on some random officer off the street who has not received the level of training this officer had invested in him. Should something serious happen during the parade the Motorcycle Squad will need to maneuver their motorcycles through crowds (with feet between pedestrians), down steep ramps and around tight curves to pursue someone through a crowd.

"The officer simply asked if he could have a different assignment."

He wasnt on any of the other units and he knew his assignment was parades long before he even asked to be a part of the Motorcade unit.

Provo, UT

lost in DC,

The Salt Lake City Police Motorcycle Squad doesnt have to accept the religious tenants of officers as a reason for why they cant perform their duties when there is only around 30 which can be significantly less depending on the year. The Motorcycle squad is a 24 hour unit with multiple responsibilities. Of which the parade was only one and there could have only been a few officers available during the shift the parade was taking place.

"The 1st amendment is not terminated when someone takes a job as a police officer."

He doesnt have a first amendment right to mislead the police department and cause them to waste their resources. He signed up for a motorcycle squad that he knew was responsible for special events including those they dont agree with and he knew at the time there was gay pride parades every year. What if 20 of 30 officers are anti-Mormon and they all refuse to work the funeral procession of the Mormon prophet? Maybe they can give you a motorcycle and hope for the best. He refused to do his job that others would gladly had done had they been selected, Now they can

Cleveland , OH

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. [50] And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” -Ezekiel 16:49-50

It seems a city is in danger when the citizens are wealthy and full of pride and refused to help the poor.

Sort of an encouragement to "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Huntsville, UT

Contrast this officer's "discomfort" with that of the photo of police officers in Wisconsin delivering cake to newlywed LGBT couples at the courthouse.


Their opinions are just that; their opinions. Just because they don't like it doesn't mean they get to dictate that others cannot do it.

You say you don't "celibrate something you consider wrong"; but you're all too willing to vote to deny others the ability to do that, making them live by your standards, which is itself "wrong".

@Liberal Ted;

We want these officers to server EVERYBODY equally. Is that too much to ask?

@Karen R.;

Beautifully stated.


Fiction 13: 13-14, similar to saying: "Harry Potter: pg 32 line 3."

USS Enterprise, UT

To "LiberalJimmy" please explain how he would serving the public interest or protecting the public by driving his motorcycle in the parade and putting on a show. Remember, he was very willing to protect and serve, he didn't want to entertain the public.

To "Stormwalker" explain how entertaining the crowd during a parade has anything to do with pride or refusing to help the poor.

You throw around scripture to justify your position, yet this issue has nothing to do with that scripture.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

I think this spokeswoman should have to resign. She charged in there pretty fast to label this guy as a bigot, exposing the department to an easy defamatory suit.


an officer who is unable to serve the community as a motor cycle escort cannot be trusted to serve the community as a security, police presence. your religious and personal beliefs have no place in serving the community you swore to serve. if you want to show your religious and personal beliefs, get a job in the private or religious sector.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "pythagorion" but he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He was go to be doing motorcycle tricks and formation driving for a parade.

Salt Lake City, UT

In my view Laura Jones' "bias and bigotry" comment was biased and bigoted. I hope the Salt Lake Police Dept. will see that she receives some sensitivity training toward people with different points of view. Diversity and inclusivity standards should also respect people who differ due to ideals of conscience and religious beliefs.

As a long-time parade watcher, I've seen where police have performed "policing functions." Rather like when the police provide a funeral escort. Other times I've seen them as active participants in and supporters of the parade. I'm fine with our police department providing safety and crowd control services for the Pride Parade, just as they did for the Salt Lake Marathon. But I object to any show of support or solidarity with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which operates with my taxes.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT


USS Enterprise, UT

To "pythagorion" but he wasn't providing a motorcycle escort. He was go to be doing motorcycle tricks and formation driving for a parade.

Redshirt, do you know that when he signed up for the motorcycle division, he was aware that he would be "performing" in parades. There are only about 30 members of that division. If he only wanted to be in parades that he agreed with, he shouldn't have put his hat in ring for that responsibility, should he? He did not want to do one of the duties of a motorcycle cop in SLC.

If Obama came to town, would he have the right not to escort him because he felt "uncomfortable" and it might look like he agrees with Obama and is supporting Obamas ideas? Same thing.

university place, WA


"But I object to any show of support or solidarity with LGBT causes on the part of a public service which operates with my taxes."

And I would object to any show of support or solidarity with Mormon events such as the Days of 47 parade on the part of a service which operates with my taxes. See how that works?

Dan Maloy
Enid, OK

Homosexuals: "Yes, everyone can keep their freedom of speech in our world. You see, we love ALL people and accept everyone no matter what."

Well, maybe not.....

St George, UT

Being a public servant means that you are expected to serve ALL the public, not just the ones whose lifestyle you agree with. Should other police officers be able to decide which members of the public they will serve and protect ? How about firefighters ? Should they decide whose home should be saved and whose they should let burn because they are of a different religion or sexual orientation ? It's not like the officer was asked to march in the parade, he was asked to do what he does all day, ride his motorcycle and keep people safe. If he can't put aside his personal prejudice and do that for everyone then he has no business being a police officer.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

The LGBT has become the very thing they are supposed to be fighting against. This isn't about civil rights, this is about revenge.

The LGBT reminds me of the little boy off the twilight zone who would send people into the cornfield for thinking bad thoughts about him.

Free speech only applies to them and to those who agree with them. Say something bad and lose your job.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

I am LDS 2

"I know of no religion that imposes penalties on its members for being civil to homosexuals, and certainly no religion that considers it a sin to be around LGBT people, much less to perform your professional duties of public safety."

So if someone wanted you to be in a Bud Light commercial, would you do it?

Sank You, Doctor
Salt Lake City, UT

Anti Bush-Obama

Chihuahua, 00

The LGBT has become the very thing they are supposed to be fighting against. This isn't about civil rights, this is about revenge.


The LGBT people had nothing to do with this. The SLC police department decided to put this cop on leave and he then resigned.

I think you owe the LGBT's an apology for demeaning them when they had nothing to do with this problem. Let's see if you will...

Fair Oaks, CA

This Officer applied for a coveted job in the SLCPD and later claims being uncomfortable?

This is a "Special Operations Unit", meaning he had to agree to the terms of his employment in order to be accepted.

The "Pride Parade" has been in SLC for a very long time and is the second largest event in UT.

Part of his Oath of Office includes leaving personal opinions out of performance of duties.

In addition, SLC has made the appropriate decision to include sexual orientation in antidiscrimination ordinances.

As I recall, even The Mormon Church endorsed that ordinance, right?

Cleveland , OH

Blue Angels. Thunderbirds. Golden Knights. Navy Band. Army Band. Motorcycle Units. Equestrian units. Cops and Firefighters doing demos at schools, festivals, and fairs.

The SLPD Motor Unit was not representing Gays, anymore than it represents Mormons in the Pioneer Day parade. It represents the Police Department to that community and to the larger community, just like all those other groups.

Which is why this officer was removed. His prejudice and fear runs so deep that he made the irrational leap that representing the Police Department to the LGBT community might make people think he is gay.

How far from there to believing that treating a Gay person fairly in a traffic stop might cause somebody to think he is gay?

Or being compassionate to a Gay crime victim might mean somebody would think he is gay?

Or providing full backup to another officer, who is gay, might look gay to somebody watching?

I would not want this cop to stop me or show up if I called 911... and since he was not identified, he becomes all SLPD cops.

Getting him off the force was reasonable and prudent.

Salt Lake City, UT

@RedShirt...Just out of curiosity what is your "news" source? His job during the parade was to "entertain"? Wow! Absolutely 100% FALSE. This officer was given an assignment/order. You either obey or resign. There is no gray area in this matter. In closing, I noticed you did not mention the firemen example. How about that part of my original post? Is this what you desire? "Sorry Sir/Mam we obviously do not agree politically so I guess you will have to search out a conservative firemen to extinguish this fire". Please!

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