Atheist Police Officer Sues for Retaliation

An atheist police officer in Puerto Rico has filed a federal lawsuit with the help of the ACLU claiming that he was retaliated against after not taking part in a prayer at the precinct. You can read the full complaint here and an article on Raw Story as well.

A 14-year veteran police officer from San Juan, Puerto Rico sued his bosses on Friday, alleging that he was reassigned from police work to washing cars and relaying messages when he refused to participate in a compulsory Christian prayer.

The complaint alleges that officer Alvin Marrero-Mendez’s superior officers often engaged in religious activities during precinct meetings, including an officially sponsored prayer. Specifically, it alleges that officer Mendez was asked to give a prayer before a group of officers and when he refused, he was told to leave formation and stand in front of his peers while a superior officer mocked him for rejecting Christianity…

It goes on to say the incident reduced Mendez to tears, and he vowed to raise the issue with a higher authority. When he did, he was allegedly reassigned to washing cars and relaying messages, often times in the dead of night or in the hottest hours of the afternoon. He also claims that his weekly day off has since been “capriciously denied” without any justification.

If he can prove that in court, he’s got pretty much an open and shut case.

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  • Ah! Christians “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”.

    BTW in not that related news,I half heard a snippet on NPR this am about some historian and claims that the early Xian persecution was exaggerated. Does anyone have any details?

  • David C Brayton

    Good thing he is working with Christians because, well, because Christians have lots of love and they are understanding. And forgiving too.

    Actually, I’m only partly kidding. People in other religions might have stoned him to death.

  • he vowed to raise the issue with a higher authority.

    Hardy har har har

  • rabbitscribe

    Richard: it’s probably in reference to this book released last week:

  • Richard, it’s also covered here on AlterNet:

    One of these days, I’m going to figure out the linky tags. But not today.

  • grumpyoldfart

    If he can prove that in court, he’s got pretty much an open and shut case.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if plenty of well respected Christian officers state that the atheist has misunderstood and misinterpreted everything that has been said and done since the prayer meeting.

    I wouldn’t be surprised either, if the judge and jury tend to give slightly more weight to the Christians’ evidence, than to the word of a lone atheist.

  • One thing I’m wondering: how will this play out differently in Puerto Rico as compared to how something similar would go on the US mainland?

    I’ve spent a total of something between six weeks and two months in Puerto Rico at different times, but I’ve never had to deal with the legal system. So I don’t know how the cultural differences between the island and the mainland will be reflected in this case.