The Indiana State Police department has fired a 14-year veteran for alleged insubordination and neglect of duty over claims that he's been proselytizing on the job.
Trooper Brian Hamilton was fired on Thursday after a lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union claiming that he stopped a woman named Wendy Pyle, gave her a speeding ticket and then began asking questions about her faith.
Pyle said that she became uncomfortable after Hamilton purportedly asked what church she attended and if she is a "saved" Christian during the traffic stop. She later filed a complaint claiming that her First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated, according to WCPO-TV.
Hamilton was fired on Thursday, with Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter releasing a statement that defended the free speech rights of both citizens and police officers, while saying that "there are appropriate and proper restrictions placed on agents of the State related to their actions while engaged in their official duties."
"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," Carter continued. "Making the decision to end a person’s career is not a decision I make without considerable thought.
The superintendent said that he wishes Hamilton "the best in his future and the ability to follow his heart."
As for the insubordination claim against Hamilton, the state police department said that the now ex-trooper had been told following the first incident to stop proselytizing during traffic stops.
(H/T: Washington Post)
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