By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 12 2014 5:31 PM ET
A Salt Lake City police officer who was placed on leave after he objected to participating in the Utah Pride Parade last weekend has left the department, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The policeman, whose name has not been made public, was scheduled to be in a group of motorcycle officers in the parade. He did not actually refuse to be in the group and would have participated if ordered to do so, but asked for a different assignment, his lawyer, Bret Rawson, told the Tribune.
“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,” Rawson said of his client, who cited religious objections to being in the parade. “He was surprised that he was placed on administrative leave — a disciplinary action against him — and he feels this was a violation of his rights.”
Police chief Chris Burbank said the officer had resigned, but Rawson said this is inaccurate. “It’s a matter of him being ‘constructively terminated,’ which is legalese for ‘You made it unreasonable for me to stay, so I’m leaving,’” Rawson said.
When the Tribune asked if the officer planned to file suit, Rawson said no decision had been made.