July 23, 2009
The Associated Press is reporting that Daniel Martin, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper caught on video throttling paramedic Maurice White Jr., was put on unpaid suspension for five days. Martin must also undergo an anger assessment.
Maurice White’s attorney said the paramedic was disappointed by the suspension.
A video released by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety clearly shows Martin assaulting White on the side of the road in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. A cell phone video of the assault posted on YouTube received well over a million views and was the second most-watched video on May 30. A Fox station in Tulsa filed a Freedom of Information request for the dash cam but the OHP stonewalled the request. Late on June 12, the department finally released the video. It was posted on YouTube on June 13.
Police initially said the EMT vehicle failed to yield and this was the reason Martin confronted White, assaulted him and threatened to arrest him. But the police video reveals that the EMT was unable to immediately yield due to a car pulling over in the breakdown lane on the side of the road.
On June 12, White said he doesn’t want to see anyone else in the position he was in. “Whatever we have to make sure that that never occurs again and that some definitive light is shed on the problems with the OHP, we will go forward and do it whatever that takes,” he told NewsOn6 in Oklahoma.
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