Wednesday, October 08, 2014

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Trooper Accused Of Proselytizing During Traffic Stop

What kind of hubris does it take for a cop to think that it is acceptable to ask a stopped motorist whether they have a "home church"? Well, Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton apparently thought so, and now he is getting sued by the ACLU.

[Ellen] Bogan and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana have filed a lawsuit in federal court against Hamilton. The lawsuit alleges he violated Bogan's First and Fourth Amendment rights when he probed into her religious background and handed her a church pamphlet that asks the reader "to acknowledge that she is a sinner."
Bogan, who lives in Huntington, said Hamilton asked her about her faith multiple times during the traffic stop. Because he was a trooper and his police car was still parked behind hers, she said she felt she could not leave or refuse questioning.  
"The whole time, his lights were on," Bogan said. "I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning." Bogan's complaint also claims that Hamilton asked if he could give her something and that he went to his car to retrieve a pamphlet from First Baptist Church in Cambridge City.
This is such an astonishing (and infuriating) story! It is just amazing to me how many times it is just assumed that everyone believes in God and religion should permeate all aspects of life. Asked about your religion at a traffic stop??!!

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