Friday, July 24, 2009
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper who pulled over and choked a paramedic on his way to delivering a patient to hospital has suspended for just five days and ordered to attend an “anger assessment.”
The incident occurred in late May on Highway 62 near Boley in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma.
As we detailed in our report at the time, trooper Daniel Martin and his colleague were responding to a call of their own and were evidently annoyed that Maurice White Jr’s ambulance did not yield and give way to them on the road.
Video shot by the patient’s son on a cell phone showed Martin grab Mr White in an attempt to put him in an arm lock and cuff him. Mr White resisted, a scuffle ensued and Martin grabbed the EMT by the throat.
After pleading that he was a doctor, with a patient, on the way to the hospital, the troopers finally relented and left the scene.
The incident made headlines after the video went viral on Youtube.
Watch the video:
[efoods]It later emerged that trooper Martin had a history of misusing authority and was fired in 2000 as Chief of Police in Fairfax, Oklahoma, for violent and bullying behavior.
Now, as J.D. Tuccille of the Civil Liberties Examiner reports, Martin has gotten away with a proverbial slap on the wrist, being suspended for just five days for “conduct unbecoming an officer” and ordered to undergo an anger assessment.
What’s more, Martin’s official suspension letter even justifies the stopping of the ambulance and condemns EMT Maurice White’s actions in attempting to return to his vehicle and take his patient to hospital.
“Daniel Martin was out of line, acting like a cartoon cop outraged that somebody didn’t ‘respect mah authoritah.’” Tuccille writes. “While letting his bruised ego run wild, he behaved unprofessionally and, potentially, put a life at risk.”
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