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March 5, 2018

ACLU of Georgia Urges the Barrow County Sheriff's Office to Cancel Training

ATLANTA - The ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to the Barrow County Sheriff's Office, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Standards and Training Council expressing its deep concern about an inflammatory, hateful, and potentially unconstitutional "training course" scheduled for March 8, 2018, which is being organized by the Barrow County Sheriff's Office and allegedly "approved" by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), titled "Islam in America."
As leaders of the law enforcement community, sheriffs and police chiefs should promote accurate and effective trainings for their staff, rather than those that promote unjust racial or religious profiling or offensive stereotypes about people of the Muslim faith. This program would teach law enforcement officers to treat Georgians differently based on their religion. Such prejudice contributes to an environment ripe for crimes perpetrated by police officers themselves and hate crimes or constitutional violations by others.
In its letter, the ACLU of Georgia stated the sheriff's training is "potentially in violation of the Constitution [and] is an affront to the professionalism of our brave men and women in uniform, the communities they have sworn to protect, and the taxpayers whose dollars are being wasted on this program. Failure to immediately cancel this training may also expose your office to constitutional liability under both the First and Fourteenth Amendments."
The "course instructor," David Bores, has a documented history of making inaccurate and dangerous statements regarding Americans of the Muslim faith, as well as claims that they are not entitled to the same rights as Americans who follow other faiths. Alarmingly, the course description claims that Mr. Bores would teach how to determine which Muslims were peaceful and which want to "subvert our Constitution by imposing Sharia law."
"It is unclear which unconstitutional surveillance programs or psychic powers Mr. David Bores, the course instructor, wishes to promote, but the First Amendment already prohibits United States courts from imposing Sharia or any other religious law," stated Sean J. Young, Legal Director of the ACLU of Georgia. "Our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect our communities. Rather than waste their precious time teaching them how to violate the United States Constitution by discriminating against people based solely on their faith, we demand that you cancel this upcoming training immediately."