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my opinion is simple. he was on the job and in uniform. he was wrong to do this when he is on duty. he has a perfect right to proselytize when he isn't on the job and he can go  door to door like a jehovah's witness. i have no issue with that. however when he is on the job, it blurs the line between government and religion for him to essentially force people 'under color of authority' to listen to his spiel.

Indiana State Trooper Brian Hamilton Sued For Handing Out Religious Lit At Traffic Stop

Posted: 10/06/2014 8:02 pm EDT Updated: 10/06/2014 8:59 pm EDT

When Ellen Bogan was stopped on U.S. 27 by Indiana State Trooper Brian Hamilton on Aug. 9, he said it was because she made an illegal pass.

Hamilton gave her a warning ticket for speeding and he threw in something else: a religious pamphlet asking her to acknowledge she was a sinner.

Now Bogan, 60, is suing Hamilton saying his on-the-job actions violated her First and Fourth Amendment rights, WLWT.com reports.

Bogan says Hamilton kept the police car lights flashing during the traffic stop, but after the officer handed over the warning ticket, he asked her if she had a home church and if she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior.

He also handed her a religious pamphlet that asked readers to acknowledge they are sinners.

The pamphlet advertised a radio program called “Policing for Jesus Ministries” hosted by “Trooper Dan Jones.”

Bogan was shocked at Hamilton's alleged actions and decided to file the lawsuit with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"It's completely out of line and it just -- it took me aback," Bogan, 60, told the Indianapolis Star.

Bogan said she is not religious, but felt she could not leave or refuse questioning because Hamilton was in uniform and had his patrol car parked behind hers.

“The whole time, his lights were on,” Bogan said, according to RawStory.com “I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning.”

Indiana State Police spokesman David Bursten confirmed that State Police received notice about the lawsuit in late September but said the agency does not comment on pending litigation, USA Today reports.

Burstan added that there isn't a specific policy that addresses officers who distribute religious materials, according to the Associated Press.

Hamilton has not responded to media inquiries, but Bogan's lawsuit is getting divided reactions.

Indianapolis-based Jennifer Drobac tells the Indianapolis Star that because Hamilton was on duty as a government representative, his actions represent the state trying establish one religion above all.

Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, sees it differently, telling the newspaper that while a traffic stop might not have been the best time to quiz someone about faith, it doesn't mean the officer should lose his right to free speech.

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Reminds me of the Holy Rollers and Southern baptists of yesteryear . They would get you on your knees and demand you to repent . Say you was going to hell while holding you down . That itself put a bitter taste in my mouth for a very long time . Cop was oh so wrong doing that on the job . Off work and visiting not so wrong ...

Not while at work.  After work and out of uniform, have at it, but not while acting as an agent for the state, which is what police and trooper are doing.  

OMG!! In my youth I was a Holy Roller and never knew it!

Very wrong of him. I would sue him also.  But wrongs go on in the universe.  When I was in Marine Corps boot camp in the summer of 1971 I recall all the recruits being forced to take a bible out of a pile of them a Chaplain had set out. It was an environment where one had to ask permission to speak let alone object to anything. Now if I see any in a Free Box at a garage sale or library, I take them and enjoy tossing them into my wood stove in the winter. I have it going now, so if anyone wants to proselytize me into salvation, send all that literature and bibles my way now. I take such donations until May or the arrival of warm weather.

Shadowman, you appear to be beyond redemption, lol.

Not while on duty.  One would feel coerced to listen because of his position of authority.  Ewwwwww, that is so wrong. But I don't think she should sue him either. People in this country are sue-crazy.  Get over it!

I think I would have had to say something. What he was doing was totally out of line and he should have known it. If not then he doesn't need to be a State Trooper.
I find it strange that so many people find things like this to be just fine.

one of the things about the usa thats so much better than every place else is we have the right to freedom of religion ..but that should also include not havin to listen to anyone tryin to convert me if i'm not buyin it ..so to ask me if i wanted to hear about jesus or moses or mohamad first and a simple i'm not interested should be enough to make him stop .. that should cover his right to free speech .. but once you say no that should be your right to not have to hear it .. religion is a personal thing , yet some can't help but want to share it .. i have no problem with any of that provided i also have the right to not have to listen .. 

He absolutely violated her rights by doing that in uniform during a stop. After work, sure. Was he just drumming up listeners (or trying to) for his radio gig? Who knows. I wouldn't sue him as for money, but sometimes suing is the only way to get something like this out. Too bad she didn't video it, since that's all the rage. Then she could have just youtubed it and saved all that courtroom money the taxpayers will have to pay out. 




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