Louisville Police Officer gets $75K in Legal Fees following Suspension for Praying outside Abortion Clinic

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Matthew Schrenger, a police officer who filed a case against Louisville Metro Police Department, Chief Erika Shields and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, after being suspended for attending a pro-life demonstration outside an abortion clinic while off duty has won the case.

The city of Louisville, Kentucky, will pay the police officer $75,000 in a legal settlement. Last October, the police officer had filed a complaint after being punished for partaking in a vigil outside EMW Women’s Surgical Center in February, 2021.  

Last Thursday, The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal nonprofit representing Schrenger, issued a statement confirming that the settlement had been agreed. It added that the suspension given to Schrenger was hypocritical, given that other Louisville police officers had partake in marches and demonstrations of a political nature with impunity.

The statement read, “The unfair discipline revealed undeniably content-based discrimination against Officer Schrenger’s personal pro-life views and violated his First Amendment rights.

“He was treated very differently than other officers who had undeniably engaged in true political protest and activism while participating in LGBT and Black Lives Matter demonstrations.”

Schrenger denied the allegation that he was protesting. He insisted that the gathering he attended was peaceful and the activity he participated in was only praying outside the clinic before it opened. Consequently, he filed his lawsuit against Shields Fischer in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division.

The lawsuit stated, “The Defendants subjected the Plaintiff to suspension and related mistreatment, because the Plaintiff, while off duty, engaged in quiet prayer on a public sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic.

“The Plaintiff’s right to speak freely and honestly is fully protected even if the Defendants disapprove of the Plaintiff’s pro-life views. The central role of the First Amendment is to protect the right of individuals to speak of their beliefs and views, particularly when the government disapproves.”

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