What the...?

[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; police misconduct.]

So, in Indiana (of course), a 60-year-old woman named Ellen Bogan was pulled over by Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton, who gave her a warning ticket for an alleged traffic violation, then proceeded to proselytize to her about Christianity, asking her where she went to church and if she accepts Jesus Christ as her savior.
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.

The pamphlet, which was included in the lawsuit, advertises a radio broadcast from "Trooper Dan Jones" called "Policing for Jesus Ministries." It also outlines "God's plan for salvation," a four-point list that advises the reader to "realize you're a sinner" and "realize the Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins."

"I'm not affiliated with any church. I don't go to church," Bogan said. "I felt compelled to say I did, just because I had a state trooper standing at the passenger-side window. It was just weird."
Bogan and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Hamilton "violated Bogan's First and Fourth Amendment rights." Which he clearly did, as he was in uniform and on duty and thus a representative of the government at the time.

But of course the American Family Association of Indiana are insisting that Hamilton's First Amendment right to free speech is being encroached upon, never mind that no one is saying he shouldn't be able to hand out his stupid pamphlets—just not while he's on duty, wearing a uniform, carrying a weapon, and empowered with the influence of the police force, which is intimidating at the best of times and potentially coercive during a traffic stop.
Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, said that although the traffic stop might not have been the best time to quiz someone about faith, he questioned whether a police officer should lose his right to free speech because he is wearing a badge.

"I have people pass out religious material all the time. Mormons come to my door all the time, and it doesn't offend me," Clark said. "(This case) 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."
Yeah. Someone coming to your door and a police officer pulling you over is exactly the same thing. Good grief.

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