Indiana state police have fired a trooper after a second complaint was received about sharing his faith with those he encounters during traffic stops.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a second suit against trooper Brian Hamilton recently, bringing about the termination of his employment. The previous suit had been settled in 2014 after complainant Ellen Bogdan alleged that he violated her constitutional rights by asking her about her religious beliefs after he pulled her over a traffic violation.
On tuesday, however, the ACLU filed a second lawsuit against Hamilton, this time on behalf of another complainant, Wendy Pyle. The suit alleges that Hamilton pulled Pyle over for speeding this past January, but gave her a warning instead of a ticket, and afterwards asked her if she attended church anywhere and if she was saved of christ.
“It was unwanted. It was also extremely upsetting,” Pyle said to reporters.
Hamilton’s sack came on Thursday, with an Indiana State Police spokesperson explaining to reporters that the trooper was fired as a result of an internal investigation and not because of the ACLU suit.
“The internal investigation was initiated, conducted, concluded and scheduled for the April 7th hearing over two weeks prior to the state police having any knowledge of the ACLU lawsuit,” Chief Public Information Officer Captain David Bursten told local TV station Fox59.
“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,” also said Superintendent Douglas Carter in a statement.
Hamilton told repoters, “I’m just following what the Lord told me to do, 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. And that’s why they fired me so that’s where we’re at.”
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