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Sun May 25, 2014, 11:59 AM

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

Imagine a police officer refusing to guard a Sikh temple, give a presentation on safety and crime prevention at a Catholic elementary school, conduct foot patrols in a neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, or come to the aid of an injured woman wearing a hijab.

As crazy as they may sound, these scenarios are not that far-fetched, given an Oklahoma police officer's recent refusal to serve community members with different religious beliefs.

In 2011, the Islamic Society of Tulsa organized a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to show its gratitude for protection provided after threats to its mosque. As part of its longstanding community-policing initiative, the Tulsa Police Department requested some of its officers to attend, as they had for hundreds of other outreach events hosted by various religious organizations over the years.

One officer – Captain Paul Fields – refused, however, claiming his attendance would pose a "moral dilemma." Even when in uniform, Fields argued, he had a "duty to proselytize" anyone who doesn't share his Christian beliefs. Despite his supervisors' assurances that no one at the event would be required to participate in any religious observations or express or adopt any beliefs, and despite their offers that he send a subordinate in his place, Fields wouldn't follow orders.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/religion-belief-criminal-law-reform/sorry-officer-you-have-duty-protect-and-serve-not


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Reply Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize (Original post)
cleanhippie May 2014 OP
Arkansas Granny May 2014 #1
cleanhippie May 2014 #4
SwankyXomb May 2014 #2
struggle4progress May 2014 #3

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 01:10 PM

1. Don't you just love when people use their faith

as an excuse for their bigotry and intolerance.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:19 PM

4. It happens everyday. And we tolerate it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 02:52 PM

2. At least he stopped short of

"Conversion by the sword".

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 03:54 PM

3. From the decision: "First, the Attendance Order did not burden Fields’s religious rights

First, the Attendance Order did not burden Fields’s religious rights because it did not require him to violate his
personal religious beliefs by attending the event; he could have obeyed the order by ordering others to attend, and he has not contended on appeal that he had informed his supervisors that doing so would have violated his religious beliefs. Second, the order did not violate the Establishment Clause because no informed, reasonable observer would have perceived the order or the event as a government endorsement of Islam. Third, the order did not burden Fields’s right of association because it did not interfere with his right to decide what organizations to join as a member. Fourth, Fields’s equal-protection claim duplicates his free-exercise claim and fails for the same reason. And fifth, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Fields’s motion to amend the complaint to add ORFA and free-speech retaliation claims because the amendment would have been futile. He has provided no reason
why his ORFA claim could succeed when his religion claims under the First Amendment do not. And his retaliation claim would fail because the interests of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) as an employer outweighed Fields’s free-speech interests in filing his suit"

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