The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations plans to pursue legal action against Barrow County Sheriff’s Office. They say a backdoor ban blocked local Muslims from attending an Islam in America training course.

The Barrow county Sheriff’s Office held an Islam in America training program on March 6th. The sheriff says it was to better prepare officers against Muslim extremists. It has received backlash from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who are now pushing for legal action.

Executive director of the Georgia chapter, Edward Mitchell, asked the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to stop accrediting these classes. He says the instructor, David Bores, a former Woodstock Police Chief, isn’t qualified.

“We put together a fourteen page report documenting all the crazy, bigotted, anti-muslim things he’s been saying to different audiences,” says Mitchell. “And we submitted that fourteen page report to the state wide police training agency so they could hopefully stop accrediting these classes.”

Before the training, Barrow County Sheriff Judd Smith told Grady Newsource any of Bores’ comments in the past do not reflect the course itself.

“They’re upset at the fact his credibility may be at question because he’s made some inflamatory comments in the past,” says Smith. “I can’t control what he thinks. I can’t control what he says. As long as he’s teaching factual based events that are necessary for law enforcement and the protection of our community, we’re going to do that.”

Mitchell asked to attend the training but was denied access. The Sheriff said only law enforcement or a leader of a place of worship in Barrow County were allowed to attend. While there are Muslim community members, there are no mosques in Barrow County. Mitchell believes this is a form of discriminatory behavior

We reached out to Barrow County Sheriff’s Office for a response to the claims, but did not get a response.