Salt Lake City police officer who refused to ride motorcycle at Utah Pride Parade resigns from force

Officer did not want to be viewed as an advocate for gay pride
Officer did not want to be viewed as an advocate for gay pride
A Salt Lake City police officer who was suspended for allegedly refusing to provide traffic control for the Utah Pride Parade last weekend has quit his job.

The officer, whose name has not been released, had cited his religious beliefs for balking at the assignment that called for him to be among the Salt Lake City Police Department officers riding in front of the parade.

His attorney said he felt uncomfortable with that role, did not want to be seen as a gay pride advocate, and asked for another assignment.

In putting the officer on leave, police officials said they would not tolerate bias and bigotry.

His attorney, Bret Rawson, tells the Salt Lake City Tribune that it has quickly become untenable for his client to continue working on the force.

He said it’s not accurate to say the officer quit the force but instead had been โ€˜constructively terminated.’

‘My client has made it clear to SLCPD that he is not returning,’ Rawson says. ‘He feels he has been subjected to needless ridicule by the department for merely expressing a desire to work the parade without participating in the parade.’

The attorney said the officer was surprised when he was placed on administrative leave. ‘He feels this (disciplinary action) was a violation of his rights,’ Rawson adds. Police officials confirmed the resignation but declined further comment. 11 June 2014 | By Greg Hernandez