An Indiana state trooper has been fired for evangelizing while on the job, according to Fox59 News.
Senior State Trooper Brian L. Hamilton, 40, allegedly used a traffic stop to share his faith with a citizen.
The trooper reportedly stopped Fayette County woman Wendy Pyle for speeding, but after issuing her a warning, Hamilton proceeded to ask her what church she attended and if she was saved.
Pyle later said she answered “yes” to both questions because she was uncomfortable with the situation and wanted it to end as quickly as possible.
Hamilton also allegedly gave Pyle directions to the church he attends.
The ACLU filed a claim on behalf of Pyle, claiming her constitutional rights were violated by the trooper’s failure to separate his faith from his job.
This was the second time a complaint was filed against Hamilton in the past 18 months, charging him with evangelizing while on official duty.
“When he’s engaged in the official acts of his job, especially when he’s a police officer, those kinds of stops are inherently coercive. That is not the time to be talking to people about their religion,” said Richard Waples, an Indianapolis civil rights attorney.
Captain David Bursten, the Chief Public Information Officer for the state police added that, “Today’s termination of Hamilton’s employment with the state police was the result of a thorough internal investigation and would have occurred regardless of any legal action initiated by the ICLU against Mr. Hamilton.”
Hamilton maintains that he was simply doing what the Lord told him to do.
“Oh well…I’m just following what the Lord told me to do and you can’t change what the Lord tells you to do,” he told Fox59 in a phone interview. “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.”
Publication date: April 8, 2016