Trooper Martin made himself famous by whoopin up on Paramedic White. Seen all over the world on Youtube, the investigation is complete. Oklahoma Crime Examiner Patricia Phillips has followed this case from the beginning, and you read all of the details in her column. Martin’s suspension letter goes out of its way to justify the traffic stop and to lay blame on the paramedic, and excuses some of the extreme conduct of the trooper.
The letter, from Commissioner Kevin L. Ward, points out that Trooper Martin was “twice advised that a patient was on board the ambulance and that the ambulance was headed to the hospital.” Nevertheless, “in spite of the knowledge of the patient and the length of time of the stop, you made no inquiry of the patient or any other person regarding the status or welfare of the patient on board the ambulance.”
Ward advises Martin that it would have been more appropriate to have allowed the ambulance to continue to the hospital and conclude the traffic stop there.
Ward also points out, diplomatically, that Martin seemed to be spoiling for a fight.
“On at least one occasion, you withdrew from the altercation, only to place yourself in a position for a subsequent altercation with Mr. White.
Finally, your manner when approaching Mr. Franks, the driver of the ambulance, was unnecessary and unprofessional. Your demeanor and language at the scene was also unprofessional.”
Ward then cites the OHP Operations Manual to characterize Martin’s behavior as “conduct unbecoming an officer” and quotes statutes allowing for Martin to be “discharged, suspended without pay for not to exceed sixty (60) calendar days or demoted…”
Ward then states, “your conduct and disregard for the welfare of the patient justify severe discipline.” And that “severe discipline” turns out to be … five days suspension without pay and an anger assessment?
ANGER ASSESSMENT? A 5 day suspension? Anger assessment is a bullshit class that allows a supervisor to look like he is doing something when he wants to placate the public. I have seen medics get a heavier suspension for much less.
Remember that Martin has already been fired from two other police jobs for using excessive force. What this trooper did was nothing short of Aggravated battery. Had the medic defended himself against this unlawful use of force, he would be looking at a lengthy prison stay. If the video had not been made public by the bystanders, White would be in jail right now.
What happens when the next victim of your rage doesn’t have video rolling? All I can say is that I am giving serious thought into installing video in my personal automobile that transmits the feed to a remote server (so tapes don’t get “confiscated”), and if i should ever find myself in Oklahoma, I will be sure to do so. Perhaps the residents in your response area need to invest in some armor piercing ammo- that may be the only way to stop you once you embark on your next steroid fueled, department approved temper tantrum.
Perhaps White can sue you and your department. Good luck to him. I hope he takes your house.
But, hey- cops are so well trained that they are the only ones who can be trusted with guns, according to many.
Edited to add: If you want even more of the facts here, read the lawsuit that White filed against Martin.
Pod A · August 5, 2009 at 5:03 am
I say the medic in the back was wrong as well.
I imagine things would have been decent enough if he would have stayed in the back.
While the police officer is somewhat of a moron, the teching medic was wrong as well.
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