Friday, April 08, 2016

Cop Fired for Praying for Traffic Violator

14-year veteran of the Indiana State Police, Brian L. Hamilton, 40, of Connersville was fired yesterday for twice asking drivers about their faith during routine stops for traffic violations over the past two years.
“[Later, the ticketed driver] was approached by someone who attended church with Trooper Hamilton who informed her that Trooper Hamilton had placed her on a prayer list.”
-- Lawsuit against ex-Trooper Hamilton

“I was 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.”
-- Brian Hamilton
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

National Park Fires Pastor for Public Baptizing in California

Atlanta Fires Fire Chief for 'Anti-gay' Bible Study

NASA Bans Jesus, Threatening Employees' Freedom

California City Official Yanked: Caught Reading Bible

Praying Bus Driver Fired at Rutgers: Safety Issue

Michigan Dentist Sued for Playing Christian Music

Iowa Newspaper Editor, Fired for Being Christian, Sues

Internet CEO Forced to Resign for Being Christian

Oregon Woman Fired for Being Pro-life Leader

Media Help Homosexuals Shut Down Indiana Christian Pizza Restaurant

-- From "Senior State Trooper fired for preaching on duty" by Kayla Crandall, WPTA-TV21 (Fort Wayne, IN) 4/7/16

ISP officials said that Hamilton directly violated an August 2014 counseling statement where he was told in writing: "During the course of his official duties, S/Trp. Hamilton will not question others regarding their religious beliefs nor provide religious pamphlets or similar advertisements.”

This allegation brought a lawsuit against the ISP, and it was brought to a close in April 2015.

The most recent allegation of Hamilton questioning a citizen’s religious affiliation, while engaged in enforcement actions, was reported in a citizen complaint on January 14, 2016.

He allegedly invited her to his church, and gave her the address, and then went on to ask her if she was saved.

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] is preparing to sue Hamilton as an individual.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Jesus-preaching trooper fired after proselytizing — yet again — during a traffic stop" by Sarah Larimer, Washington Post 4/8/16

Indiana State Police trooper Brian Hamilton pulled over Wendy Pyle in January, according to a lawsuit filed this week. He told Pyle that she had been speeding, went back to his patrol car and returned with a warning ticket.

Then, the lawsuit alleges, Hamilton asked Pyle where she attended church — and whether she had been “saved.”

As the state police indicated, this isn’t the first time Hamilton has been sued for on-the-job displays of faith. In 2014, another driver, Ellen Bogan, filed suit after Hamilton gave her a warning ticket during a traffic stop — and a pamphlet for a church.

The material from the First Baptist Church in Cambridge City, Ind., referred to a radio broadcast, called “Policing for Jesus Ministries,” among other items.

“The pamphlet also outlines ‘God’s Plan of Salvation’ that requires the reader to acknowledge that she is a sinner and to realize that ‘Salvation is a gift and is received by faith in Jesus Christ’ and that ‘the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins,'” the 2014 complaint stated. “Ms. Bogan said thank you to the Trooper and the Trooper said ‘God Bless You,’ and returned to his car.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Jesus-preaching Indiana State Police trooper fired" by Jill Disis, Indianapolis Star 4/8/16

"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.”

State Police Capt. Dave Bursten said the department's internal investigation was separate from the lawsuit pending against Hamilton, adding that it "would have occurred regardless of any legal action initiated" by the ACLU.

Bogan’s lawsuit was eventually settled. According to court records, Hamilton was counseled not to question others regarding their religious beliefs, nor was he to provide religious pamphlets or similar advertisements to them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "If Gov. Pence, elected officials can be openly Christian, why not fired trooper?" by Jordan Fischer, WRTV-TV6 (Indianapolis, IN) Scripps Media, Inc. 4/8/16

State police said Hamilton was fired for insubordination and neglect of duty . . . But those same restrictions are not applied to the state's elected officials, many of whom, like Gov. Mike Pence, speak openly and often about their faith.

In January, during his State of the State address, Pence spoke at length about protecting the freedom of religious beliefs and invoked God's blessing on four separate occasions.

But displays of religiosity aren't limited just to the governor's office. Lawmakers in both chambers of the state legislature cited their religious beliefs as reasons for supporting Indiana's controversial new abortion law. And in March, Hoosier evangelist (and former RTV6 employee) Clayton Jennings was invited to deliver a prayer on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives . . .

While the debate over where to properly draw the line between the separation of church and state isn't limited to Indiana, who else should Hoosiers look to for guidance but their own elected officials?

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Florida Student Failed for Being Christian, Lawyer Says

And read Wisconsin Prof. Threatens Student for her Christianity