A police officer stripped of his police duties because he prayed in front of an abortion clinic while off-duty is finally vindicated.
Police Officer Reprimanded For Praying In Front Of Abortion Clinic
Officer Matt Schrenger is a loyal police veteran who has spent 13 years serving the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD). All was well in his duties until, in February last year, he unexpectedly experienced injustice. And it forced him to be on administrative leave for over four months.
Apparently, on a Saturday morning, Matt stopped by in front of a closed abortion clinic to pray quietly. He was walking with his father on a public sidewalk off-duty when it happened. And the reports said that “he was wearing his uniform and carrying his gun but covered up by wearing his coat.”
Following the prayerful moment, authorities saw what he did through the surveillance cameras. They then reprimanded the officer, stripped him of his police powers, and placed him under investigation. Then he had to leave the force for over four months with pay, pending the investigation.
According to WDRB-TV, the Kentucky state law and LMPD policy “forbids an officer from participating in any political demonstrations while in uniform.” But Chief Erika Shields argues that Officer Matt “made an effort to cover up his police uniform with his coat while he was in front of the clinic.” Hence, he didn’t commit any violation at all.
“The treatment of Officer Schrenger was particularly galling considering other Louisville police officers previously had marched. While on-duty and in uniform, in political protests that apparently were approved by the police department,” Heffron stressed.
Further, the Thomas More Society senior counsel also appealed unjust treatment toward Officer Matt. Since other officers had also participated in previous protests.
“The unfair discipline revealed undeniably content-based discrimination against Officer Schrenger’s personal pro-life views. And violated his First Amendment rights,” Heffron said. “He did not engage in any political protest on duty – he prayed quietly..”
But still, they punished him “for this peaceful, private behavior.” They treated him “very differently than other officers who had undeniably engaged in true political protest and activism..”
With the attorneys efforts to request open records, it revealed that “these other officers did not receive any discipline for their actions.”
Finally, authorities vindicated Officer Matt and allowed him to return to the force. The City of Louisville paid the LMPD officer “$75,000 to settle his federal lawsuit.”
“The City’s quick offer of $75,000 shows the City knows it committed a significant. And inexcusable violation of a loyal officer’s Constitutional rights,” remarked Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Matt Heffron.
Reference: CBN News