The Indiana State Police has fired a controversial trooper who had been sued twice in the past 18 months for allegedly preaching to citizens after traffic stops. Senior Trooper Brian Hamilton, 40, was a 14-year veteran of the agency.
While I have long supported cases defending religious freedom (including representing those claiming denial of such rights), I do not see why Hamilton has become such a rallying cry for some advocates. Drivers like Wendy Pyle complained about being questioned about her church and whether she was saved. There is no allegation of Hamilton did more than question on faith and invited drivers like Pyle to attend services at his church and gave her directions. However, citizens should be able to deal with an officer of the law without being questioned on her faith.
Pyle filed a formal complaint with the Indiana State Police. Her complaint joined an earlier complaint by driver Ellen Bogan. Bogan claimed that Hamilton asked her several times about her religious beliefs and gave her a pamphlet from First Baptist Church in Cambridge City and advertised a radio broadcast titled “Policing for Jesus Ministries.”
The police department correctly told Hamilton not to “question others regarding their religious beliefs nor provide religious pamphlets or similar advertisements.” However, Hamilton insisted that he was following the command of the Lord “and you can’t change what the Lord tells you to do. So if the Lord tells me to speak about Jesus Christ, I do.”
Putting aside the meaning of such a commandment from the Lord (and whether he meant to proselytize to everyone at all times), Hamilton was using his official authority to impose religious questioning on citizens. It is doubtful that his supporters would have such a warm reception to a Muslim or Jewish or atheist officer pressing citizens about their faith. Clearly Hamilton feels a calling to be a preacher but he had to make a choice between being a preacher and a police officer. That choice was ultimately made for him.
29 thoughts on “Indiana Trooper Fired After Continuing To Question Drivers About Their Faith”
I have no issues with anyone following whichever religion they choose, however, I reserve the right to follow, or not, any religion I choose. Someone with a gun (and I used to bear arms myself) would not intimidate me as long as said weapon wasn’t pointed directly at me. If the gun was aimed at me then the person better be prepared to use it as I would take that as a sign of aggression and my training would kick in so it would be kill or be killed. Nowhere in this tale does it say the officer had pulled his weapon, however, not everyone has served their country and some could feel threatened in this day and age being questioned on their faith by a cop.
The biggest problem with this type of behavior is that it can lead to partiality in the execution of the law. LEO’s have discretion on how to deal with situations. Someone pulled over for speeding might be fined or let go with only a warning. In this case, if someone pulled over seems receptive to the officer’s message, human nature is such that the officer would treat that person differently than someone who is not receptive. This breach of the principle of justice being blind and impartial is what concerns me the most. Written policies need to be in place to prevent this kind of behavior.
Paul…If that is what he was selling i’d buy it…..thin mints are heavenly.
Amway hillarious…..but to rb, what about the constititional “litmus” test? Personal i prefer to believe i live in a christian nation. I prefer to believe if the jaws of life don’t get there in time a christian cop will hold my hand. The last thing we need is “professionals” who are all atheist. Tmi….i recently called my sister crying about a childhood friend who died. God forbid a human weep. Her first question ” do you feel like you are going to hurt yourself?”….not really …don’t plan on dying let alone going to hell just cuz someone i knew died. But the secularist humanist can’t grasp a higher being. Hell for all i know she called county “mental health” to make sure i’m not a danger..
Hopefully they have a christian on board! Don’t fire him put him on the crisis response team. Not to save a soul per se but to save ppl from being mental health railroaded run atheiest and little blue pill big pharma.
J – at least he is not pushing Girl Scout Cookies.
Definitely a firing offense! He was warned and he continued to break the rules. You know what they say: if you don’t want to get in trouble, just follow the laws. Because that ALWAYS works.
There are plenty of opportunities to indoctrinate children via Sunday school, and become a lay pastor, even take up a soapbox and annoy people on the street. But in uniform? Cops are annoying enough without this added feature. Imagine if he was selling Amway for chrissakes.
LOL! In days past the vapid comment by Glenn would have led off this thread. So, I guess the leftist propaganda is moving down the ladder. When it is deep in a hole maybe we can bury it and be done.
The American Taliban are alive and well………
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