June 19, 2009

No Justice In Oklahoma

There's no justice in Oklahoma while Daniel Martin is allowed to continue as a state trooper.

You might have seen the story on CBS News. Martin pulled over an ambulance transporting a patient, then beat up one of the paramedics in front of witnesses.

And Daniel Martin still hasn't been fired.

The entire incident was captured by the dashboard cam of his own cruiser.

And Daniel Martin still hasn't been fired.

A member of the patient's family videotaped the trooper as he assaulted the paramedic.

And Daniel Martin still hasn't been fired.

Martin's lawyer maintains that Martin was fully justified in keeping a woman from receiving medical care. He maintains that Martin didn't know that there was a patient in the ambulance even though it was one of the first things he was told when he approached the driver - as shown by his dashboard camera.

Martin is a bully, a thug, and a menace to society. The people of Oklahoma are not safe with him patrolling the streets, free to harass emergency personnel at his whim.

What kind of idiots must be running the Oklahoma State Troopers that they didn't fire him 30 seconds after his own dashboard camera revealed that everything he claimed about the case was a lie? That after an eyewitness videotape clearly shows that he attacked the paramedic, and not the other way around, Martin wasn't charged with assault and stripped of his badge?

There's no justice in Oklahoma.

(h/t to Carlos Miller)


  1. I don't know much about the ambulance industry, but I seem to recall you know a bit.

    Ambulances are run by private companies, correct? They are not city employees and, when not involved in an emergency, must follow all the same rules as any other private business vehicle.

    I ask because if the ambulance was involved in some sort of emergency, why weren't the siren lights on? It was the first thing I noticed in the video. And, frankly, who does the ambulance driver think he is to NOT yield to the cop (assuming that, since the cop was on his way to another situation, his lights were on.)

    If this had happened in L.A., I think the EMT would've been lucky to have not been shot. As horrific as the behavior is by the cop, the EMT did NOTHING but make the situation worse. You don't exit a vehicle and approach an officer unless directed to. EVER. I don't care what vehicle you are in. And you don't argue with a cop who has pulled you over. EVER. Our law firm has two cases of people who got pulled over and just wouldn't keep their mouths shut.

    Yes, absolutely, the cop should be fired. It is his JOB to keep his cool in the situation. If I were his boss, I would've taken his badge and his gun right there on the scene. But if I ran the ambulance company, I would fire the EMTs too. If you don't have your siren on, you yield to a cop who does. If they'd had the lights on, I would think the cop would have yielded to the ambulance.

  2. Yes, I was involved with a volunteer rescue squad. I was a driver and 2nd attendant.

    Not all ambulances are run by private companies; depends on where you are. In this case, that doesn't matter, it's not relevant to what happened.

    Here's what really happens, if you watch the tape: you have a car, followed by the ambulance, and the squad car with the lights coming up on both of them.

    As an ambulance driver, your entire attention is focused ahead while you're in transport - as this one was. As reported by the head attending (EMT White), they had turned off the lights and siren to calm down an elder patient who was having problems breathing. This is not uncommon in older patients: they become panicked by the sirens.

    The car ahead of the ambulance pulls over: I imagine that they'd caught a flash of emergency lights, then saw an ambulance behind them, and pulled over. From my own experience driving a rig, I can tell you that it is probably this action that brings the approaching cruiser to the attention of the ambulance driver But now the car is in the space that the ambulance would move over into: remember, the ambulance is not only bigger, it has a patient, equipment, and 2 attendants in the back: you can't slam on you brakes. All the ambulance can do is keep going until it's clear, which, if you watch the tape closely, is exactly what happens.

    The Ambulance passes the crime scene, and the trooper pulls out (running a stop sign, BTW) and pulls over the ambulance - which pulls over promptly, since there's no traffic in the way. The ambulance crew state that at that time, they thought the cruiser was flagging them down for a first aid crisis - the head attendant comes out and immediately asks if the trooper needs assistance "What's wrong?" he asks the trooper at 09320.

    The trooper brushes him off, heading for the driver, who is always the lowest ranking member of the crew. "I'm talking to the driver" the trooper informs him. The trooper is now violating the chain of command, and yes, every state trooper and officer is taught the correct chain of command on rescue squads. That's the trooper's 2nd error (after running a stop sign). The head attendant then informs the trooper that they have a patient in transit. This is the officer's third and most egregious error: as of that moment, the officer had no further authority over the ambulance; medical emergencies take precedent over traffic infractions. At this point, the trooper is required by law to get out of the way of the crew. The correct procedure at this point is to follow the ambulance to the hospital and issue the ticket once the crew has turned over their patient.

    It's also not a given that the ambulance was required to yield; in fact the only time there is a defined hierarchy for emergency vehicles is at a 4-way stop sign, and the correct order of right of way is: postal truck, ambulance, fire truck, police cruiser. That's right, postal trucks, as federal vehicles, rank higher than anything, and police cars at the low end of the totem.

    The trooper is actually entirely at fault in this case. Had he maintained a professional demeanor, and paid attention to the protocols that exist for these situations, this would not have happened.

  3. See? I knew you could clear that up.

  4. I live in Oklahoma, but I haven't always. I can tell you that for the most part, that is the way they do things around here..There are some good cops, but they are hard to find, becuase the "OTHER" cops don't like the way they stick to the law, rather than to who they know.
    Less than a month ago, a woman I know here in town "HOWE" had her sister visiting from out of town. They got in their car to go to town, and witnessed a suspected druggie woman, driving down the road with her children on the hood of her car. The sister whips out her camera or her phone, and starts filming this. This woman catches them doing it, and follows them to the store, gets out of her car with a Gun, gets in a police stance and is yelling at them to get out of the car and that she is a police officer. These women had kids in the car with them, and were scared out of their wits, so they took off. This crazy woman then followed them, and proceded to ram their car with her car like 4 times..They got to a friends house and called 911, and I guess Howe, Heavener, and possibly the Sherriff's dept. showed up..but by the time all of this is said and done...NOTHING HAPPENS TO THIS WOMAN..NOT ONLY DID SHE ENDANGER HER CHILDREN LETTING THEM RIDE ON THE HOOD OF HER CAR, SHE PULLED A GUN ON THEM, IMPOSED AS A POLICE OFFICER, THEN RAMMED THEIR VEHICLE WITH HERS..(ASSULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON AT THE LEAST) AND NOTHING HAPPENS TO HER...
    Her neighbor then stays away from home for quite some time, but when she decided to come home, the crazy neighbor is trying to coax her kids out to the road, and is sitting in front of her house reving up her engine and harrassing this family. So the lady goes to the cops and tells them what is going on, and they tell her there is nothing they can do..This woman is scared to go to her own home now..
    These little town cops should be forced to train for a year in Dallas, or L.A. or NY. before they go to work here. Or someone needs to find out WHY there is "NO JUSTICE IN OKLAHOMA" Because this heading could not be more true..