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Comments about ‘Department says officer who refused parade assignment has resigned’

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Published: Tuesday, June 10 2014 5:57 p.m. MDT

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Star Bright
Salt Lake City, Ut

I'm sorry that someone can't state an opinion and have someone else do the parade. Makes me sick. Thanks Salt Lake police dept. Lost me.

Florwood
American Fork, UT

I sense a lawsuit coming on.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I hope he gets the meanest, toughest, most aggressive and successful lawyer in the state.

We need an investigation into why we are paying Salt Lake City police officers to be part of the "Pride" parade, which is a tacit endorsement of their message.

There is nothing wrong with providing security for the Pride events, just as with any other group gathering (Cinco de Mayo, Pioneer Day, Jazz championship--well maybe someday...). But to actively perform as a unit in a parade is just wrong use of tax payer money and police officer time. To order someone to do so should be an illegal order which can be legitimately disobeyed.

I think maybe about a million taxpayer dollars, taken from the Police Department budget and specifically the Chief's salary and benefits package, would be good compensation.

Jim Cobabe
Provo, UT

What happened to the hue and cry about unfair discrimination?

I'm certain that the officer in question realized that any appeal to legal protection would end up in federal court. I suspect it may anyway, because some "pride" advocate is sure to disapprove of the officers choices, and claim that "rights" have been offended.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

1. We are a Right To Work state and he willingly resigned. He has no case in any court at all.
2. I did not agree with the Iraq war but I fought in it anyway because I was a soldier and that's what soldiers do. As a police officer you do not get to choose who you protect and serve. You are a servant of the people. All of the people.
3. If he refused to provide security at General Conference because he hated Mormons, I bet the tone of conversation here would be different.

kam
Layton, UT

Father of four, the officer was not refusing to "protect" anyone, he was refusing to be an active "participant" in the actual parade. That is a big difference that the media has glossed over and has only been brought to light due to a legal statement by the officer's attorney. the officer found a replacement to ride in the actual parade and the officer was willing to perform the task of security at the parade. This is a far cry from the way the media has portrayed this and doesn't deserve *any* of the controversy it has garnered. He may serve the public, but he doesn't have to change his opinions or views to do so, no matter who disagrees with him.

jeanie
orem, UT

He did not refuse to provide security, read the article. "He asked to trade for a security or patrol assignment." He did not want to be riding in front of the parade looking as if he supported the convictions celebrated in the parade, but he WAS willing to provide security - therefore doing his duty like you, FatherOfFour, did yours. How much more clear does the article need to be?

I hope he sues, this is worthy of such a lawsuit.

Chancey
Sandy, UT

No Parade should use on-duty police. Part of the cost of the parade should be security. Providing security for Parades could easily be provided by off-duty police officers, thus earning them extra well-deserved pay and also, as such would be voluntary, so that no officer would be required to ride in any parade he/she may not support. Easy solution.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

I remember about 10 years UTA started operating buses and TRAX on Sundays, in large part to accommodate those who were traveling to the LDS General Conference.

If one of the TRAX operators or bus drivers refused to work that day, because they wanted to honor the Sabbath, or because they didn't agree with the LDS religion, they should have been disciplined.

This entire story is one big non-event.

LovelyDeseret
Gilbert, AZ

We should have a freedom parade with this officer as the Grand Marshall.

jeanie
orem, UT

Come on people, he didn't refuse to work, he didn't refuse to provide security, he refused to participate in a parade as one of the lead guys. Stop making him out to be the villain you want him to be.

All these analogies are not representative of a guy who was willing to work and protect, but not willing endorse.

It is not the job of the police department to endorse anything, it is to protect the public, something this guy was willing to do.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@jeanie

Sorry, that's not how it works. You don't get to pick assignments. In police units, and the military discipline is a huge issue. If a leader cannot get his subordinates to do their assigned duties for things like parades...how are they going to obey him in times of war or riot?

It may seem trivial, but it gets out of hand easily. Unit leader posts a duty roster, and if people start swapping shifts and duties, one of two things invariably happens. People don't show up for duty (and whom do you hold accountable?) or you become perceived as a pushover and lose the respect of your men because of the precedent you set. "Well you let Officer Smith out of duty for this, why can't I for this reason?"

He signed up voluntarily to be a police officer. When you pick up a stick, you pick up both ends, not just the part you like.

USNGary
San Diego, CA

He was not there to protect and serve, in fact, he asked for that detail instead of riding in the parade. Get your freaking stories right, leave him alone you bullies.

USNGary
San Diego, CA

Darrel, this is a heckuva lot different that a war or riot. This was a parade, he asked to serve and protect. Doesn't sound to me like he was trying to not get away of his "duty". I have seen many times where people swap an assignment in the Navy and the leader not lose respect but earns respect by helping his Sailors out!

jeanie
orem, UT

Darrel, My father served as a commander in the Vietnam War. Your characterization is inaccurate and overblown.

jeanie
orem, UT

FatherOfFour,

Your reason #3 is very telling about the thinking of many gay activists and supporters. In their minds there is only room for agreement/endorsement or hate. There is no way to politely disagree or have a different conviction with out it being labeled hate. That's pretty limited and myopic view.

Wilf 55
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Whether the officer was asked to participate in the parade or to provide protection or traffic control doesn't matter. The point is that he felt "uncomfortable" about LGBT. That kind of personal bias against a class of people ia unacceptable, all the more in public service.

statman
Lehi, UT

Yup - a lawsuit is coming and it will be a slam dunk for the cop. Employers - including police departments - are required by law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to be exact) to make "reasonable" religious accommodations for their employees. And there is very clear case law precedent in very similar circumstances (a religious Chicago cop asking for reassignment from standing watch at an abortion clinic. The court ruled that a reassignment under such circumstances is a "reasonable" request. The Chicago PD reassigned him to a precinct that didn't have any abortion clinics in it so the issue would never come up again. The case is Rodriguez v City of Chicago.

SLC is going to be settling this one. They're on the wrong side of the law.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Gary, so you could refuse to march in a parade in the Navy, if ordered to do so?

Yeah, didn't think so.

As far as a law suit, yeah, it seems that is what is being set up. But I doubt he will have a case. First of all, the officer was never disciplined, also he quit the job himself. It sort of makes me wonder why he did not wait for the investigation to conclude. Secondly, I doubt a lawyer could show that the order to drive the parade route was illegal or not proper. Remember, this is a legal parade that has filed all its paperwork. I imagine officers are ordered to do the exact same thing for other parades. I imagine the order was to clear the parade route, not be in the parade itself. In other words I imagine the dept looks at it more as escorting the parade, rather then being in the parade.

Well, we'll see.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

People are starting to splice hairs in an attempt to justify this officer's actions. HE made this parade a statement about his religious beliefs, no one else, and it simply wasn't necessary. Do you look upon the other officers that did fulfill their duty as condoning anything? If not, why not? And if so, on what basis?

I think it's a tribute to the SLC PD that, despite the environment of victimhood being fostered by some, only one of their officers succumbed to it. Everyone else remained committed to their oath to the community and to each other regardless of their personal beliefs. Everyone else remained a professional. My congratulations to the department.

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