An Indiana State Police Officer who was sued for attempting to convert motorists to Christianity during traffic stops was fired Thursday.
Brian Hamilton, who is a Senior State Trooper, was fired after a two month internal investigation following the complaint by an unnamed Indianian citizen, according to the Indy Star.
“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,” Indiana 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.”
The Indiana office of the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the woman who Hamilton asked if she “had been saved” when he pulled her over in January. Court documents say the 14-year veteran told the woman about the church he was affiliated with and gave her directions to it.
Indy Star reports that State Police Capt. Dave Bursten said the internal investigation was separate from the lawsuit against Hamilton and he added that the review “would have occurred regardless of any legal action initiated.” Bursten said that Hamilton has been on desk duty since January 15th after the complaint was filed.
Following a 2014 lawsuit, Hamilton was warned not to question motorists about their religious beliefs, nor was he to provide religious pamphlets or literature, according to court documents.
Featured image via Indiana State Police