In another instance, someone tried to steal a religious artifact from Church premises, was caught red-handed and turned over to the police. Yet instead of returning the stolen property to its rightful owners, records show the officers involved at the direction of Chief Klein held onto it for examination and testing, even sending it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Staff there were bewildered by Kleins exercise and returned the artifact to the department where it remained for further unspecified scrutiny. In summary, Clearwater police officers stole property stolen from the Church.
Chief Klein and other officers even went so far as to create a new discriminatory filing system. Imagine the outrage if complaints were filed by the religion of the victim. Police records reveal precisely that, and more.
Certain officers also accumulated a wide range of books and study materials about Scientology, even sending undercover police into the Church to obtain some of them.
And in a particularly offensive incident, Clearwater PD officers alleged that they had received an anonymous call claiming that actions tantamount to psychiatric electric shock were being forcibly administered to children on Church premises. The existence of such a phone call is highly suspect to begin with. No evidence was ever presented that a phone call actually occurred.
And the supposed charge is preposterous in light of Scientologists longtime and extensively documented battle against the use of shock therapy worldwide.
But the alleged anonymous call was used as justification for a huge and invasive police search. Dozens of officers swarmed over the building, disrupting normal activities and even trying to gain entry to rooms where pastoral counseling was being conducted. Despite their massive search, they of course found nothing remotely improper because there was nothing to find.
Chief Klein and other officers even went so far as to create a new, discriminatory system for the handling of their internal filing when it concerns the Church and its members. Any report from a citizen known to be a Scientologist, even one having to do with such a relatively minor incident as a stolen bicycle, is filed under Scientologist a prejudicial and wholly unconstitutional stereotyping system. It is certain that the Clearwater PD does not also keep files under Baptist, Presbyterian, Jew, Roman Catholic and Mormon.
Clearly, there are many decent officers in the department many of whom know the Church for what it really is, and who have come to the aid of the Church and its members when needed. Yet it is just as clear that the time has come for senior officers of the Clearwater Police to find themselves in relation to their mission.
The discrimination against Scientologists must come to an end lest the damage caused by this pattern of prejudice and harassment end up in court and again take a million-dollar bite out of city funds.
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