Thursday, July 03, 2008

LA Cop Disciplined for Publicly Quoting Scripture Off Duty

LAPD: "We are concerned, clearly, about the type of speech our employees engage in."

-- From "Police officer sues LAPD and Los Angeles, alleging religious discrimination" by Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 7/2/08

The Los Angeles Police Department engaged in religious discrimination by disciplining an employee for off-duty remarks made about homosexual acts, an LAPD sergeant has alleged in a lawsuit filed against the city and the department.

In a fall 2006 eulogy delivered at a fellow officer's funeral, Sgt. Eric Holyfield, who also is a pastor, said homosexual acts were "sinful" and an "abomination" and would lead to condemnation in hell, or the "lake of fire," if one did not repent, according to a lawsuit he filed June 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

After those comments, LAPD passed him up for promotions and pay raises in retaliation, Holyfield alleges in the suit, saying that he was discriminated against for his religion and that his 1st Amendment rights were violated.

Cmdr. Stuart Maislin, head of LAPD's risk-management office, said the department's ability to control an off-duty officer's speech is a "very gray area." But remarks by officers may raise red flags, particularly when bias is expressed against a group of people, Maislin said.

. . . The suit alleges that as a result of the complaint, Holyfield was removed from his position in community relations, moved back to patrol and passed up for a number of promotions.

The department has "historically discriminated . . . and continues to discriminate against officers that cite from the Holy Bible," the suit alleges.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.