News

Actions

Fired ISP trooper: 'I'd rather follow Jesus'

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-09 17:23:45-04

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. -- Two days after he was fired for promoting his religious beliefs during traffic stops, Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton was preaching to dozens of people on a Connersville street corner. 

PREVIOUS | Trooper fired for proselytizing on job finds support in hometown

"They came out for the Lord Jesus Christ, they didn't come out for me. They came out to exalt the name of Jesus and they know what the truth is, and they know that the only way anybody can be changed is to the name of Jesus, and they know that they need to be obedient to Christ when Christ tells them to do something, as a soldier for Jesus, they're going to stand up," Hamilton said. 

Hear more of what he has to say in the video player above.

PICS: Fired trooper preaches in his hometown 

Hamilton was terminated after 14 years with ISP for insubordination and neglect of duty after a woman filed a lawsuit and formal complaint saying he asked her about her faith and where she goes to church during a traffic stop. She says she did not feel free to leave while the questions were being asked. She filed a formal complaint about the stop. 

RELATED | ACLU sues ISP Trooper over faith questions | State trooper fired for proselytizing on-duty | DISCUSSION: If Gov. Pence, elected officials can be openly Christian, why not fired trooper?

"When I got saved three years ago, it changed my life, and I know what you're all doing here for and I can't really comment on the allegations of the state police. 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. God has used that job in the last three years what it was supposed to be meant for, and that was to spread the word to tell people when they're hurting, the truth. Government programs cannot touch anybody, it's the word of God that can change people," he said. 

The lawsuit filed this week was not the first time a lawsuit or complaint had been filed against Hamilton. In Oct. 2014, he was accused of prolonging a traffic stop by asking a woman about her faith, then handing her a pamphlet about how to become a Christian. The civil case was closed in April 2015.

"God used that job and it was meant to be how it's supposed to be used, not to come out here to beat up the public, as in, even with your mouth or I had a heart to heart, I was not saved, I was a child of the devil, so when I was out here in the streets, I was out here disrespectfully or whatever, you know and just looked down on 'em. But when Christ came in my heart and changed me," Hamilton said.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter released the following statement about Hamilton's termination: 

"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. 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. Making the decision to end a person’s career is not a decision I make without considerable thought.  I truly wish Brian the best in his future and the ability to follow his heart.”

The reaction to Hamilton's firing has been mixed. Some say he should have been fired sooner, others saying they had been pulled over by him in the past and were not offended when he asked them about God. 

YOU REACT: Trooper fired for talking about Jesus at traffic stops

Hamilton says he appreciates the support he has received so far, and is not worried about what's to come. 

"I'd rather follow Jesus. I'm gonna follow what God has for me to do, so. It's his plan, he's already ordered all my steps and I just gotta be obedient."

-----------

Download the new and improved RTV6 app to get the latest news on the go and receive alerts to your phone

Sign up to have the latest news headlines delivered straight to your email inbox