Oklahoma federal judge ruled late yesterday that the City of Tulsa and two of its senior police officials, Chief of Police Chuck Jordan and Deputy Chief of Police Daryl Webster, did not violate the constitutional rights of Captain Paul Fields, a Tulsa Police officer who was summarily punished for refusing to attend a mandated Islamic proselytizing event held at a local mosque.
AFLCDespite the fact that the federal judge was required to view the evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn from that evidence in favor of Captain Fields before dismissing his constitutional claims, the judge concluded that “no reasonable jury could find Fields was personally ordered to attend” the Islamic event “because the directive at issue permitted him to assign others to attend rather than attend himself.”
By doing so, the judge avoided addressing a central issue in this case, stating, “The issue of whether a directive requiring his personal attendance at the event would have violated his First Amendment rights need not be decided here.”
Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center and lead counsel for Captain Fields in the case, commented, “This ruling is troubling on many levels. However, this fight is far from over. Judge Frizzell may have been the first judge to review and decide the important constitutional issues at stake in this case, but he won’t be the last. We will be appealing this ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.”READ MORE