Skip to comments.Cop 'tries to convert' pagans during arrest (Druids think their civil rights were violated)
Posted on 06/26/2005 5:25:11 PM PDT by wagglebee
A traffic stop in Greer, S.C., this month is turning into a holy war of sorts, as a practicing Druid couple claim they were targeted by a Christian police officer who tried to convert them away from their pagan belief.
Debra and Tony Gainey say they were pulled over because they had a bumper sticker reading "It's A Druid Thing."
Tony Gainey was driving at the time of the stop June 10 and was taken into custody on charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance.
"The reason they were stopped was the tag was improper on the vehicle," Greer police Lt. Cris Varner told WHNS-TV.
But Debra Gainey, a minister at the local Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church, believes it was the druid sticker that prompted the traffic stop, as evinced by the conversation with officer Tony Stewart.
"[Stewart said], 'Did those bumper stickers come on the car or did you put them on?' and I said I put them on," Debra said.
She says the officer asked if she knew what they meant.
"So he started talking to me about God and Jesus Christ. ... I just felt like he was really getting into it, I had never expected to actually follow-up with a letter or anything."
According to Mrs. Gainey, the officer sent a card and letter to her home address days later.
"In this letter, he promises our problems will continue unless we listen to the words of the Baptists," she told the station. "We're feeling like those are threats."
"It's just kind of flabbergasting to be told that because it says Druid that we were singled out," she continued. "I don't think it's a matter of his religion or my religion, it's a matter of violation of our Constitution and trying to take that away our freedom that we are guaranteed."
The Gaineys have filed a civil-rights complaint, and the matter is now under investigation.
"The issue is the stop," police chief Dan Reynolds told the Greenville News. "Did they stop them because of the stickers? That's what we're trying to determine in our investigation. What was the reason for the stop?"
Sounds legitimate to me.
Druids are HARMLESS. Its the Islamists you have to worry about.
Maybe next time it will be an islamic cop who tries to convert them.
Funny, they didn't look Druish. 8>)
So the charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance is bogus? This loser needs to STFU and pay his fines.
Unfortunately, the officer acted so unprofessionally that it complicates the situation. His actions during and after the stop may result in charges being thrown out. This cop needs a stern reprimand to keep him from doing it again and jeopardizing other, possibly more important cases.
If he did send her that letter I believe that was over the line.
It is if you get stopped because of a bumper sticker that reflects your faith.
These folks are making this persecution up to cover their backsides. Plus, just maybe, they could get enough money to buy a new car, a proper tag and some insurance!! Oh, and a new cat or dog to sacrifice.
What, exactly, is a "Druid Thing?" Driving with a suspended license, an improper tag, and failure to have proof of insurance?
If that is what he did then I have a problem with it.
Unless there is a bog nearby, Druids really don't scare me
The officer had a legitimate reason to stop them. Beyond that, the officer may have exceeded his authority. The officer may well be concerned about the eternal souls of these pagans but can't use his badge to preach.
If he sent a note a couple of days later the complainants should be able to produce it.
This page has been disabled temporarily due to the incident with the Police Officer in Greer. This is done to protect our membership from harassment by any information that may be gleaned from the information contained on this page.
Huh, if this is true the cop is a twit.
Pure harassment over their religious beliefs.
My Husband, Tony, and I were on our way home from Wal-mart. While shopping I had begun to experience joint pain (I have Degenerative Join Disease), so my husband in a kind gesture offered to drive the five miles home. Halfway home we were pulled over by the Greer Police. No reason was given for the stop and when I asked I was told there had been none. My husband had failed to get his drivers license reinstated five years ago, so when he was asked for his, he handed them his old one. We had documents in the glove box verifying insurance coverage from the time the car was purchased until the beginning of this year, but we had insurance, the papers were just at home. After the Officers checked our IDs and found nothing, they then checked the plate on the car. We were told that the plates were the wrong ones. They would not tell us whose they were, only that they belonged on a Chevy. They searched the car and found nothing (although they thought they had found something when they came across a geode in the glove box), and then called a tow truck to take the car overnight, even though we only lived three minutes away. My husband was hand cuffed and arrested. I was not arrested, but taken to the jail with my husband, along with our frozen food. At the jail, my husband had to show them how to use their new fingerprinting machine (he is in school majoring in programming). He was released on a signature bond even though he never saw a judge.
The interesting part of this incident happened at the back of our car. Officer Stewart asked us if we had put the bumper stickers on or if the car had come that way. I of course told the truth and said I had put them on. The officer wanted to know what they meant so I explained that I was an ordained minister of the Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church. The conversation continued and then Officer Stewart asked me if my church supported me? I asked him to explain what he meant by support and he clarified it as meaning spiritually fulfilling. He then begins witnessing to me and my husband. As they were putting my husband into the police car, and I was getting the bags of groceries out of the back seat, Officer Stewart came over to me and handed me $40.00 to help get the car out of impound and told me he would be writing the letter exhibited below. At the police station he continued to witness to me.
They never offered to report our tag as stolen. They left the tag on the car and did not hold it in impound until all proper documents were produced. They had plainly stated that there had not been any reason to have stopped us in the beginning, but it doesnt matter, the plates are wrong.
Granted, my husband should not be driving, and he doesnt, except this one time when I was in pain and we needed to get home. He was in the prosess to reinstate his license at the time this occured. We have bought new plates for the car, since our old plates are gone. And, thankfully a family member is the Chief of Police in another location, so we were able to find out who the plates belonged to.
Officer Stewart never mentions a reason for being pulled over, such as weaving, speeding, wrong plates or anything like that. He does mention the bumper stickers.
Whether he is a volunteer or regular, he should still be held to a code of ethics concerning violation of constitutional rights (freedom of religion without harassment). I firmly feel he over stepped his bounds the night of the incident and has continued to do so with his letter. He assumes about my faith, as he did that night, and offers a solution to all my problems if I come to his church. I wonder about what is meant by And for whatever reason, God is calling you to listen to words from the Baptists. This is clear! If you deny this, then you are pushing away the hand of God and that would not be wise.
He also tells me Chances are that he sent this intercession after hearing the prayers of someone for your welfare. Maybe it was your prayers, or maybe it was a loved one or friend who cares for you. But he did send intercession. Now, you must respond without delay and without excuses.
ooops link here:
And Ill bet a billion that this cop wouldnt have dared tried to bother muslims about converting.
Note to stupid druid couple: "It's not a violation to your civil rights to hear something you don't agree with."
He wouldn't have tried to convert Islamists.