( 4UMF NEWS ) State Trooper Fired For Preaching To DriversState Trooper Fired For Preaching To Drivers:
An Indiana state trooper is off the force after offering people he pulled over tips on their faith.
Brian Hamilton, a 14-year veteran of the state’ police force, was fired Thursday after a second public complaint that he was preaching while on duty.
Hamilton asked a driver he pulled over if she had “been saved” and invited her to his church, even giving her directions.
The second infraction came in January, and the motorist filed suit with the American Civil Liberties Union Tuesday.
“Ms. Pyle was extremely uncomfortable with these questions,” the lawsuit says, adding the plaintiff felt intimidated by the religious interaction in a middle of a traffic stop, where she was given a warning for speeding. “In order to hopefully end these inquiries Ms. Pyle indicated that she did attend a church and that she was saved.”
The lawsuit also claims Pyle was approached by someone from Hamilton’s congregation shortly afterwards, who told her the trooper had put her on a prayer list.
Hamilton’s behavior in January was an apparent violation of a 2014 order demanding he would not “question others regarding their religious beliefs nor provide religious pamphlets or similar advertisements” while on duty, according to The Herald Bulletin.
The trooper was sued that year by another woman, who said he preached to her on the side of the road and gave her a pamphlet for the First Baptist Church in Cambridge City, Ind.
Indiana State Police said the firing was the result of an internal investigation.
Hamilton has been given 15 days to appeal to get his job back.
“While all of us — citizen and police officer — enjoy the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, there are appropriate and proper restrictions placed on agents of the State related to their actions while engaged in their official duties,” State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said in a statement.
“While I respect Mr. Hamilton’s religious views, I am also charged to respect every citizen’s rights, and the best way forward for the citizens of Indiana, and for Mr. Hamilton, was to end his employment as a state police officer.”
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