Lawsuit: Police chief imposed mandatory religious counseling

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A federal lawsuit claims a Louisiana city’s elected police chief imposed his religious beliefs on officers and reprimanded them for missing mandatory religious counseling sessions.

Former police officer Patrick Marshall sued Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown on Friday. Marshall’s suit claims the chief threatened to fire or suspend him if he didn’t attend the monthly counseling sessions with a chaplain.

Marshall also claims he was passed over for promotions given to less experienced officers because they attended the same church as the chief. The suit doesn’t specify the chief’s religious affiliation. Brown didn’t immediately respond Monday to a telephone call seeking comment.

Marshall resigned last November. His suit names Brown, the police department and city as defendants. Port Allen is across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge.

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