Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 8, 2008 / 03:38 am
A police sergeant who has served as an officer for nearly sixteen years has filed suit against the Los Angeles Police Department, alleging he was illegally demoted and repeatedly denied promotions for his off-duty remarks citing Scripture verses critical of homosexual acts.
The lawsuit alleges that the LAPD has “historically discriminated against LAPD officers that engage in protected activity and continues to discriminate against officers that cite from the Holy Bible.”
Sgt. Eric Holyfield, who when off-duty is also a senior pastor at the Gospel Word of Life Apostolic Church, made the remarks on September 29, 2006 during his delivery of a eulogy at the funeral of Officer Nathaniel Warthon Jr. at a private chapel in Whittier, the California Catholic Daily reports. As he eulogized his fellow officer, Holyfield identified himself as a sergeant and Wharton’s supervisor, according to the suit, but was clad in black clergy attire rather than his uniform.
The officer’s family had requested Holyfield, who was on vacation and off-duty at the time, deliver the eulogy.