BUZZ: Police Officer Story About Utah Pride Parade at Odds with Official Account

rainbow flagA Salt Lake Tribune story on Saturday reported that a Salt Lake City police officer was on “leave due to allegations that he refused to work at this weekend’s Utah Pride Parade.”

That police officer’s attorney now asserts that the officer did not refuse to work at the parade, but refused because he was asked to “perform maneuvers” in front of the Pride parade.

A statement from the attorney–posted below–also notes that the officer offered to trade with other officers so that he could perform more typical police responsibilities, including security, patrol, or traffic duties.

The officer felt that the level of participation would imply and be perceived as endorsing or advocating in behalf of the LGBTQ community, “a position which made him uncomfortable given his personal and religious beliefs.”

If accurate, the assertion muddies the waters of the case. No police officer should pick and choose which citizens he will protect and defend, regardless of color, creed, gender or orientation.

On the other hand, no public servant should be required to perform non-essential activities that advocate an ideology or belief system about which they feel personally and religiously conflicted.

The officer has been, according to his attorney Bret Rawson, “constructively terminated,” or fired, by the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Statement on Officer Fired for Non-participation in Utah Pride Parade

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