To serve and protect drivers from going to hell apparently…

I see this as an abuse of power, personally.

Ellen Bogan expects police to protect and serve — not proselytize.

But she says Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Hamilton pitched Christianity to her when he pulled her over for an alleged traffic violation in August on U.S. 27 in Union County.

With the lights on his marked police car still flashing, the trooper handed Bogan a warning ticket. Then, Bogan said, Hamilton posed some personal questions.

Did she have a home church?

Did she accept Jesus Christ as her savior?

“It’s completely out of line and it just — it took me aback,” Bogan, 60, told The Indianapolis Star.

Of course it’s out of line. Judge her all you want. Pray for her all you want, but don’t use your position as a police officer to stand there on the side of the road and start trying to convert her. Not content to just talk her ear off about Jesus, he gave her a pamphlet, too. Bogan and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana have filed suit against the officer.

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.”

I’ll have to try to remember to look for updates on this one.

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6 Responses to To serve and protect drivers from going to hell apparently…

  1. Laurance says:

    Okay, I find this very frightening. Very, very frightening. This is serious power abuse and intimidation. If the victim doesn’t cower properly and pray to Jesus, will s/he get beat up by the cop? Get arrested on some trumped-up charge?

    Yes, I hope you find out more about this, and that the cop gets busted and stopped from doing this junk.

  2. kbeck13 says:

    That’s crazy. And you know the funny thing? There are probably a ton of people out there that think this kind of behavior is okay. They’re the same people that will kick a Jehovah’s witness off their porch for doing the same thing. I’m all about people having freedom of faith, but come on!

  3. 1minionsopinion says:

    If he wants to do this kind of thing, he should save it for his own time and go door to door like anyone else without his uniform on and not talking from a position of (nearly absolute) power over the person trapped in the car listening.

  4. Laurance says:

    Will I shut up about this? Not yet. It’s bringing back some bad memories.

    No, the cops didn’t proselytize, but they did scare the sh*t out of me.

    It was when I was living in NY State, and I’d driven down to Texas and was on the way back, on I-40 through Tennessee when I got pipelined. We’re talking October of 1992.

    These young cops saw the NY State license plate and the bumperstickers on my truck and figured they had a live one. There are people who seem to think that New York State is identical with New York City, and anybody who lives in New York City is a druggie, and anyone from New York driving on I-40, the pipeline, has to be a big-time drug smuggler, especially if she’s driving a black pickup truck with bumperstickers on the tailgate.

    They looked at my license which told them I’m from Newfield, NY, a little village south of Ithaca and Cornell University. Those bozos thought that since “Newfield” and “New York” are both “New” I have to be from New York City, and obviously I’m a drug kingpin.

    I was far, far away from home and therefore vulnerable. I had no friends in Tennessee to come to my aid. I was at the mercy of those cops when they stopped me and asked me about the “drugs” I was “smuggling”.

    They asked permission to search the truck. I was really frightened. I am not a drug smuggler or a drug user, but I was afraid that they might try to plant something so that they could be the big heroes busting a big-time New York City Drug Smuggler.

    I did say Yes. I didn’t know what would happen if I refused. I didn’t have a lawyer with me and I wasn’t prepared to spend days in Tennessee dealing with the consequences of a No.

    Those little piggies rooted around and made one awful mess. They tossed the truck. My stuff was all over the place.

    I was distressed as they were messing my truck up, and I asked what would happen if I said that I didn’t like what was happening and asked them to stop.

    “Well, Ma’am, then we bring on the marijuana-sniffin’ dawgs…”

    All things considered, I prefer “Ma’am” to “Honey” or “Sweetie” or “Young Lady”. Those power-tripping young cops were at least more polite than these nurses nowadays.

    I was dismayed and distressed. I did NOT want to sit there and wait till the marijuana-sniffin’ dawgs were brought. How long would that take? And what would happen? All I wanted was to get the hell out of Tennessee in one piece!

    They went on messing my truck up and tossing my stuff. All they could find was my AAA travel agency stuff, my maps and Trip Tic or whatever they called that in those days. It turned out I really was just a middle aged woman traveling to and from Texas to see her Sweetie, and not a major criminal. And since they’d forgotten to bring along some drugs to plant on me they had to let me go. Sorry ’bout that. They didn’t get their names and pictures in the local newspaper for busting the ringleader of a drug smuggling cartel after all.

    So they drove away, leaving me to clean up the awful mess they’d made.

    I felt sick to my stomach. And that wasn’t the end of it. By evening I”d reached Bristol Virginia, and I was SICK.

    Probably got exposed to a virus in Texas. But if I hadn’t been scared to death and strongly stressed, would my immune system have resisted it? I was SICK.

    If they had asked me if I believed in Jesus, you can bet your Christopher Hitchens books I’d have howled, “Halleluia! Jesus Saves! Praise the Lord!” This kind of power abuse is scary as the very dickens. And it’s sick-making and traumatizing.

    I sure do hope Ms. Bogan and the ACLU sue the g*dd@mn pants off that cop and any police officials who allow that crap to happen.

    I do know that there is some sort of law concerning asking the driver for permission to search, and that the driver can say No. But I don’t know the details and what can happen.

    Ugh! What a bad memory!

  5. 1minionsopinion says:

    I just watched John Oliver’s piece this week on civil forfeiture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEpZWGgJks) and the lengths to which police will go to do and get what they want. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you.

  6. Laurance says:

    Thanks for the youtube link. Right now it’s bedtime, and I do not want to look. At some time when I feel strong I will watch that youtube video. But right now it’s bedtime here and I can’t deal with the stress.

    I am aware of the abuses of Asset Forfeiture and I have to be really careful to not be carried away by paranoia. There was a short time when I read “High Times” magazine, and I had to stop because I was going crazy with paranoia – and I don’t do drugs!

    Some ten years later, after my incident, my daughter and I went on a trip to the South to see some friends of hers in Georgia and to visit Graceland and Elvis’ birthplace (shame on me, I’m just the right age to have loved Elvis, I was a young teenager at the time). I still got a frisson of paranoia and anxiety when we got to Tennessee.

    More years have passed now. Will I feel safe around cops now?

    Police power and abuse potential. I sure hope Ms Bogan gets some justice and closure here, and some safety from police abuse.

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