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A State Trooper Is Being Sued for Evangelizing During a Traffic Stop

A State Trooper Is Being Sued for Evangelizing During a Traffic Stop

In what is probably a case of good intentions that could have been handled a bit more shrewdly, State trooper Brian Hamilton is being sued by a woman for asking her about her salvation during a traffic stop. According to Bogan, Hamilton pulled her over during a routine moving violation and then, after giving her a warning, proceeded to ask if she had a home church, if she’d ever accepted Jesus as her savior and gave her some literature to read. “It’s completely out of line and it just—it took me aback,” Bogan told The Indianapolis Star. “The whole time, his lights were on. I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning.”

The case raises some questions about First Amendment rights. On the one hand, as executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana Micah Clark says, it, “might not be the most persuasive time to talk to someone about their faith, but I don’t think that a police officer is prohibited from doing something like that.” But Jennifer Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, contends that “The police officer is representing the government … so that means, as a representative, this person, while on duty, while engaged in official action, is basically overstepping and is trying to establish religion” …

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