An ex-cop who was fired from the Indiana State Police Department over allegations that he was proselytizing on the job took to a street corner over the weekend to deliver a sermon about God and government — and to share his testimony.
Dozens of supporters showed up to hear from Brian Hamilton, who 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 inappropriately asked about her faith, according to WRTV-TV.
Just two days after he was terminated, Hamilton delivered a passionate sermon on the street corner in Connersville, Indiana, about his Christian beliefs, saying that the supporters who showed up to hear him speak were there because of their devotion to Jesus.
Hamilton also discussed his journey into Christianity, saying that his entire life has been changed through his devotion to the Bible.
"When I got saved three years ago, it changed my life, and I know what you're all down here for and I can't really comment on the allegations of the state police," he said. "And I was a former state trooper, but I always said after I got saved, I said I work for the state but ultimately, I'm a soldier for Jesus Christ."
As for his 14 years with the Indiana State Police Department, Hamilton said that he believes that God used his job since he became a Christian to help him spread the gospel, and to help those who are hurting.
"Government programs cannot touch anybody," Hamilton added, saying that "Jesus Christ is what" people need. "It's the word of God that can change people."
“Ms. Pyle was extremely uncomfortable with these questions,” text of the complaint reads, according to the Washington Post. “In order to hopefully end these inquiries Ms. Pyle indicated that she did attend a church and that she was saved.”
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter released a statement after Hamilton's termination 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.”
WCPO-TV reported that the incident with Pyle was the second time an individual had accused Hamilton of proselytizing and filed a lawsuit, with a woman previously claiming that he handed her a Christian pamphlet during a traffic stop back in 2014.
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.
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