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Louisiana police department to stop hosting prayer vigils

4 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 October 19, 2018 6:11 AM October 19, 2018 in News
Source: Associated Press
Photo: Shreveport Times

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Prayer vigils will no longer be hosted or promoted by police in Shreveport, Louisiana.

That's according to City Attorney William Bradford, in response to a letter from a national nonprofit that advocates for the separation of church and state. The Shreveport Times reports that the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump in August saying that hosting the vigils suggests the department "prefers religion over nonreligion," thereby violating the Constitution.

Bradford says officers still can attend vigils independently. The police chief is also a pastor at the Republican Missionary Baptist Church, and police spokeswoman Cpl. Angie Willhite confirms that all 15 of the department's volunteer chaplains are Christian. The letter also asked the department to end its chaplain program.

Bradford says Shreveport doesn't plan on doing that.

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