On March 12, the Freedom from Religion Foundation posted a video accusing Birmingham, Ala. police chief A.C. Roper of using his office to promote Christianity.
Roper, who is also a brigadier general and an ordained minister, responded to FFRF’s criticism by participating in a prayer walk over the weekend. The walk was organized by the Christian group Prayer Force United.
Roper has publicly defended his collaborations with Christian groups while serving as Birmingham's police chief.
“America is a land of freedom and a land of choice,” Roper said. “So each person has the right to worship or not and if we choose to worship we can choose the faith and the belief systems that we so desire. So regardless of your color or your race or you national origin, you get the right to choose and this right to choose even belongs to the Chief of Police of Birmingham.”
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In addition to his police work in Birmingham, Roper has over 30 years of military experience. He was deployed during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Roper for the rank of brigadier general. He has previously been awarded the Bronze Star and the General MacArthur leadership award, which is given annually to the top U.S. Army officers in the country.