OHP Trooper Attacks Paramedic
Trooper Daniel Martin, who was responding to a stolen car report, came up behind the ambulance on a two-lane country road. In Oklahoma, those shoulders are notoriously tricky for even a car to pull off onto. But there’s another factor involved.
As the dash cam clearly shows, a car is on the right-hand shoulder, partially obstructing the highway. Just as the highway patrol pulls up behind the ambulance, the medical unit must swing out to avoid colliding with the parked car.
Let me repeat that, because it’s important: if the ambulance’s driver, Paul Franks, had immediately pulled over when the racing trooper came up behind him, he would have created an accident. It is impossible to safely pull over while slamming into another vehicle.
After the ambulance gets past the parked vehicle, Franks slows and safely pulls over for the trooper. As Martin zooms by–at a speed that I would call excessive for just a stolen car report–he uses the radio to reprimand the ambulance for not pulling over.
Later in the tape, it’s shown that the sheriff’s department is already on scene at the stolen car incident. Martin is released from any need to be at the scene.
Then he whips around, guns his car, and goes out hunting the ambulance. When he catches up with the ambulance, what happens next is a textbook case for bad judgment and abuse of power.
Before the encounter is over, Martin has assaulted the paramedic, frightened the patient, and created a neighborhood scene that is so unprofessional that it’s just about unbelievable. Enraged, he calls for backup, repeatedly threatens the unit’s operators, curses, chokes and slams White up against the ambulance several times–an action the patient later said rocked the unit, frightening her.
Had a family member not been on hand with a cellphone camera during the episode, Martin’s actions in choking White would have been undocumented as they were out of range of the camera. Not only that, but the backup trooper turned off his dash cam, according to earlier reports.
For more than three weeks the above cell phone video showing a Oklahoma highway patrolman putting a EMT paramedic in a chokehold, has been making its rounds on YouTube.
Now its counterpart — video from the trooper’s dashboard cam:
I was withholding my judgement until the dashcam video was released, and now I can say with all certainty, this cop was wrong. He was angry and unprofessional from the git go. He wanted to prove his position of authority over the EMT, as a result the whole thing quickly turns into a full on cock fight. Turns out, the trooper has done this before and this time may have been showing off for his wife who was sitting in the squad car watching events unfold.
Mark James, who came to the defense of his client Trooper Daniel Martin, said “A person who’ll fight an officer is a danger to the community.” He then goes on to say that Mr. White, the EMT in the video, is a danger to the community.
What can we learn from watching this video? Number one: don’t get out of your vehicle when you are pulled over by the cops. If this simple rule had been followed, none of what you see here would have transpired. One the other hand, in this case, had I been the driver I would have got out–expecting some profession courtesy among follow first responders–but we can see how that turned out.
In a statement to the media days, Mr. White said he thought the cop’s wife need emergency medical attention. “As my partner was pulling onto the shoulder, the cruiser came alongside our unit and gestured for my driver to pull over,” White says. “When the officer came to a complete stop behind the ambulance, I noticed a woman in the front seat. Based on the officer’s erratic driving behavior, I thought that the woman in the front seat of the cruiser was in need of immediate medical attention; hence I exited the rear of the ambulance in order to assess the situation.”
Here is video of the drivers statement to the media.
Now the lawyer of the officer addresses the media. He make a strong case that the EMT was in the wrong for attempt to assert control of the situation, but what he fails to point out is the fact there is a patient in the vehicle in route to the hospital. This changes the equation somewhat. Paramedic White’s attorney responds to Trooper Martin’s attorney.
The well being (and very life of law enforcement) can easly be in The EMTs hands. It is a shame to see a cop act so disrespectful toward someone who may one day be called upon to save his life.
You can voice yourself to OHP they are listening – and keeping track of complaint calls. Their #: 405.425.7709. You might ask if cutting off a person oxygen with a chokehold is standard practice for Oklahoma Highway Patrol.