TULSA, Okla. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Oklahoma filed a friend-of-the-court brief yesterday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, arguing that a police officer does not have a religious right to refuse assignments simply because they require him to serve people who do not share his faith.
The Islamic Society of Tulsa held a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2011 to thank local police for protecting the center after it received threats during the previous year. As part of the department's community policing initiative, Capt. Paul Fields was directed to attend, or send officers from his division to attend the event. Fields refused, claiming that to attend or to send officers to the event would violate his religious beliefs, which require him to proselytize anyone who does not share his Christian faith.