27-year police vet claims religious discrimination

After Diedre Renee Forte was sent two years ago to a routine supervisory class at the Metro Police Department Training Academy, in which the class watched a video that led to Forte’s religious affiliation being identified, her 27-year career with the department changed dramatically.

It’s the main allegation Forte makes in a lawsuit she filed against the police department in federal court last week.

Police spokesman Don Aaron would not comment on the suit, instead deferring to the Metro Legal Department.

Forte, 46, claims that a training video “concerning David Koresh from the Branch Davidian” in Waco, Texas, resulted in a discriminatory work environment.

A Seventh Day Adventist, Forte said that the instructor told the class that “Seventh Day Adventists were cults, due to their relationship with David Koresh.”

Seventh-day Adventism

Theologically, the various ‘Davidian’ groups, of which the Branch Davidians are best known – are sects (splinter groups) of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA)church.

Seventh-day Adventism is – theologically – a cult of Christianity due to the movement’s continued promotion of doctrines that are contrary to the gospel and unorthodox in nature.

Note that there are various factions with the SDA, ranging from those who wish the movement would fully enter into the ‘evangelical Christian mainstream,’ while others prefer to hold on to various heresies.

But there is no relationship between the two, according to Forte.

“The defendant’s supervisor and subordinates think that plaintiff is not a Christian as they are, and believe that plaintiff has a different religion,” Forte wrote in her complaint, which she filed in federal court herself.

As a result of the discussion surrounding her religious beliefs, Forte said her work environment began to change so drastically that she also suffered discrimination she claims could be attributed to her race, gender and age.

Forte filed complaints with the Metro Police’s Office of Professional Accountability, which were found unsustainable last April.

But in her suit, Forte contends that the department’s attitude was the problem, and that she was repeatedly reprimanded for calling attention to her situation.

“[I] was told not to talk about God, but other supervisors and subordinates could.”

As of press time Friday, the case had not been assigned to a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Nashville City Paper, USA
May 30, 2006
Jared Allen
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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday May 30, 2006.
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