This is a troubling story regarding an entire police department bullying a young policeman to the point of quitting for expressing his personal religious convictions. The Daily Signal on Wednesday shared the story of Jacob Kersey, a 19-year-old former police officer in Georgia who resigned earlier this month after posting a 20- word message on Facebook expressing his faith-based opposition to gay marriage.
Kersey told The Daily Signal his superiors at the Port Wentworth Police Department considered his social media post bigoted and offensive. They threatened to fire him immediately afterwards before settling on a one-week paid leave of absence.
But the story did not end there. His bosses told him he was allowed to post Scripture verses from the Bible but could not give any “offensive” interpretation of these verses. This included expressing religious opposition to gay marriage.
Kersey decided he could no longer serve as a police officer if he had to satisfy the thought police at the same time. So he chose to resign from the force.
Here is the story from The Daily Signal:
A Georgia police officer has resigned after he was told by superiors that he could not share his personal religious views on social media.
On Jan. 2, 19-year-old Jacob Kersey posted a 20-word message about his view of marriage on Facebook:
“God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church,” he wrote, paraphrasing the Apostle Paul’s teaching in the Book of Ephesians. “That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
The next day, Kersey said he received a phone call from his supervisor, who told him that someone had complained about the post and to take it down.
When Kersey refused, the supervisor warned him that failure to delete the Facebook post on marriage could result in his termination.
The police officer received a phone call later that day from the police department’s Maj. Lee Sherrod, ordering him to come to the office the following morning, Jan. 4, and turn in everything he had that belonged to the city.
When he arrived at the police station, the young officer met with Sherrod, Lt. Justin Hardy, Capt. Nathan Jentzen, and Police Chief Matt Libby. According to Kersey, he was “being placed on administrative leave while the city investigated to see if I could keep my job.”
After a week of paid administrative leave, Kersey met again with the leadership of the police department. He says he was informed that he no longer was on administrative leave and would not be fired, but that he could not share opinions on social media that could be considered offensive.
Next, Kersey received a “letter of notification” from Sherrod dated Jan. 13. The letter explained that although Kersey is entitled to his own personal beliefs, he should be “reminded that if any post on any of your social media platforms, or any other statement or action, renders you unable to perform, and to be seen as [unable] to perform, your job in a fair and equitable manner, you could be terminated.”
Four days after the date on the letter, on Jan. 17, Kersey formally resigned from the Port Wentworth Police Department.
“I decided to resign … because I just didn’t think it wise to go back and play their game,” Kersey told The Daily Signal, adding that “the way things went down, I didn’t feel as if my command really had my back.”