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Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014

Arkansas police chief Jeremy Clark refuses to remove cross from police department lawn after atheist group complains

An Arkansas police chief is refusing a Wisconsin atheist group’s demands to remove a cross from the lawn of the police department.

Searcy Police Chief Jeremy Clark told reporters that the cross was planted in the ground before he took office a year ago, and that he has no intentions of removing it.

“Someone put it there. I didn’t put it there, [and] I don’t know who did,” Clark told local television station KARK-TV. “I wasn’t going to remove it just because this organization in another state told us that we should.”

Clark stated that the cross is just outside of his private office and that no one sees it there.

 “The only person that sees that cross everyday is me, unless someone is purposely trying to look for it,” he added to The Daily Citizen. “You can see these crosses in yards all over the community we serve. I don’t for one-second think a wooden cross staked into the ground is offensive to the majority of the people that we serve.”

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had contacted Clark last year to request that the cross be removed.

The organization states that its letter was sparked by a complaint from a “concerned local resident and taxpayer.”

“It is our information that there is a white cross in front of the Searcy Police Station near one of the public entrances,” the letter from FFRF read. “We understand that these crosses were made and handed out by a local Methodist church.”

The crosses are said to be seeing throughout the town in various locations, but FFRF says that having the cross near the police station signifies a government endorsement of religion.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. RLBaty says:

    Among other misleading claims in the above article, it is stated that:

    “Clark stated that the cross is
    just outside of his private office
    and that no one sees it there.”

    From my analysis of the photograph of the cross as published elsewhere and Google Maps views of the police station, that claim, if made, must be false.

    It appears to me that the cross in the published photo is quite a distance from the building and building entrance while being only about 3 or 4 feet from a through street on the south side of the building.

    The reporting seems to be rather poorly done on this developing story.

  2. GiraffeJunk says:

    It’s sad to think that a police chief can’t keep his religion at his house and at his church. I would question if this police chief would protect those who are Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist or even Satanists with the same vigor as those whom he knows to be Christian. Should someone who can’t leave the preaching at the pulpit be in such a position? And yes he is preaching, by not leaving tax payer property neutral, although the Church probably thanks him for the free commercial.

  3. Robert Allen says:

    Leaving a Christian Cross on the lawn of the Police Department IS a clear Violation of the Establishment Clause of OUR First Amendment to OUR Constitution – of the Leading Democracy of the FREE World (or so the Propaganda has it about that Leading Democracy thingy).

    I applaud the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to complaining about this Violation !!!!!

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