UNITED STATES—Harris County Sheriff, Ed Gonzalez has received criticism after a recent visit by rapper Kanye West to the Harris County Jail. On November 15, West performed in two “Jesus is King” concerts for Harris County inmates in Houston, Texas, for an event organized with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.
Following the response, an atheist group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a four-page letter titled: “Honorable Ed Gonzalez.”
In the letter by Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney and Director of Strategic Response, he called out Sheriff Gonzalez citing the separation of the church and state, and for organizing a Christian event that was not just for entertainment, as West spoke of his conversion. Seidel cited the response of Sheriff Gonzalez via Twitter.
Seidel wrote, “this was unconstitutional. You were elected to a secular office and to uphold a secular Constitution…You cannot use that public office to promote your personal religion, even if it happens to be a religion Kanye West shares.”
West is married to Kim Kardashian, who is currently working on prison reform, and recently extended her efforts to a documentary on prison reform.
In October 2018, West visited The White House and spoke with President Trump about prison reform.
YouTube video footage of West’s visit depicted a positive response by prisoners and law enforcement. In the video, Sheriff Gonzalez stating:
“You know I’m a life-long law enforcement officer. I started to serve my community here in my hometown, but we need to be firm with crime. We want our communities to be safe. Everyone does. We don’t have to lose our humanity or our compassion.”
Canyon News reached out to Sheriff Gonzalez for a statement, but did not hear back in time for print.