Pulling Over An Ambulance…

that is transporting a patient to the hospital. The Oklahoma State Troopers are doing all they can to improve their public image and failing.

White says he saw the trooper approaching from behind at a high rate of speed with lights activated, but he did not hear a siren. He says Franks had a car in front of him that his attention was focused on and hadn’t seen the trooper before he was within a few feet of the ambulance.

“I called out to my partner and told him to pull to the side because there was a State Trooper behind us,” White says.

White says as the trooper passed them, he made radio contact, telling Franks “you should consider checking your rearview mirrors”.

White says a few blocks after this incident, another trooper entered the road at a high rate of speed, cutting in front of a car driven by a family member of the patient. White says he then saw another trooper approaching from the rear.

“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.”

White says the officer was in a rage when he approached them and yelled “get your a– back here! I am giving you a ticket for failure to yield.” White says he told the trooper they had a patient in the ambulance and that they were on their way to the hospital.

“He ignored my statement, became even more belligerent, and demanded my partner come to his patrol car so he could write him a ticket,” White says. “I calmly told the officer that we were transporting a patient and we could continue this at the hospital.”

White says the trooper then approached him and shouted “you are under arrest for obstructing a police officer” and grabbed his arm to handcuff him. A brief struggle followed, at which point the trooper grabbed White by the throat. The cell phone captured this incident on video.

White says the trooper later told him they could continue on to the hospital, but that he would be under arrest once they got there. White was never arrested, but says troopers told him he should be prepared to turn himself in if a warrant was issued.

Simply astonishing you might think…well not really. Radley Balko also has another incident where a police officer pulled over a man on his way to the hospital as his mother was dying. Then there is this story of police holding up a doctor on his way to the hospital.

A local obstetrician says he was trying to get to the hospital to deliver a baby, and instead ended up being held at gunpoint by a Metro Police Officer in a parking lot at UMC.

[…]

The officer stepped out of his car and told me to stop and freeze. I explained, ‘Officer, I am sorry. I don’t want to be rude. I am a physician, there is an emergency, and I have to go.'”

Dr. Ziworitin says what happened next was shocking, “The officer proceeded to pull out his gun, point it at my face, and told me to lay face down on the ground, which I did. At this point, my ID card dropped on the floor and I remember him stepping on me, probably putting his knee on my back, and then cuffed me.”

Still cuffed, Dr. Ziworitin says he was put up against the police car as the officer called UMC to verify his employment, “Immediately after that call he proceeded to uncuff me and I ran upstairs to go take care of the emergency.”

So, not that astonishing at all.

Another Incident: This one doesn’t involve anyone in the medical communit, at least not directly. However the officer who slammed a man who was wrongly suspected of assault into a wall putting the supposed suspect into a comma has been found not guilty of committing any crime.

The actions of a sheriff’s deputy who slammed a man into a wall after he had been mistakenly tied to an assault do not appear to be criminal, the King County Sheriff’s Office announced this afternoon. A lawyer for the man’s family immediately questioned the finding.

The man, Christopher Harris, 29, who is in critical condition, suffered life-threatening injuries after he was knocked into the outside wall of a Belltown theater on May 10.

[…]

Urquhart said the first deputy gave Harris a “hard push.”

[…]

Sim Osborn, an attorney hired by Harris’ family, disputed Urquhart’s characterization of the deputy’s takedown of the Edmonds man.

“It was a bone-crushing hit,” Osborn said. He likened it to a linebacker hitting somebody and said it was “horribly brutal” at best and potentially a criminal assault.

Harris hit his head against a turquoise-colored tile wall on the east side of the Cinerama Theater at Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street. He has not regained consciousness since the incident, according to his family.

In another incident a King County Deputy was caught on video beating a 15 year old girl while in custody. Deputy Schene was investigated before for shooting two people, one of whom he killed. But lets not put him on trial; put him back on the streets.

FILED UNDER: Government, Law and the Courts, US Politics,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. hcantrall says:

    The worst part of these stories is that you have to wonder just how much of this kind crap they got away with before cellphone cameras and such. I have to say I think there’s something wrong with people who want to be police officers. *In my experience* with friends that are cops and encounters with them, they all seem to have something to prove, like they were beat up as a kid and this is their revenge. You will respect me or I’ll take it by force!

  2. Hyscience says:

    Pulling Over An Ambulance, and more…

    Astonishing stories of police authority runamuck ………

  3. Rick DeMent says:

    So, not that astonishing at all.

    Unless of course these are extremely rare isolated cases. Only if these are routine everyday occurrences would they be “not that astonishing at all”.

    Maybe your inability to distinguish what is astonishing and what is not is what leads you to your crappy conclusions on economics.

  4. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    For those of us who live on the Oklahoma border, this was another “ho hum” story. We hear this kind of story all the time.

    The best one involved an Oklahoma police officer crossing into Arkansas to pull over a driver he suspected of carrying contraband. The driver was never in Oklahoma but that didn’t stop the policeman. Unfortunately for the policeman, the driver was an off-duty policeman from Arkansas in his personal vehicle. After identifying himself, the Arkansas cop had to call for backup and it took several other cops from Arkansas to get the Oklahoma cop to back off. This case ultimately ended up in a federal law suit against the Oklahoma cop. I never learned the final disposition of the law suit but I am cheering for the home team so I hope the Oklahoma cop got reamed.

  5. Ugh says:

    Nothing pisses off police officers more than someone who questions their authority or doesn’t immediately do what they say.

  6. Herb says:

    Sorry, Rick, but cops behaving badly is quite common. We just don’t mind it so much because they’re usually doing it to bad people. The problem is that many cops need to get over themselves.

    They don’t need to taser a naked man. They don’t need to gang tackle an unconscious man who was just thrown out of a van. They don’t need to strong arm ambulance drivers.

    But they can…and they do.

  7. Herb says:

    Nothing pisses off police officers more than someone who questions their authority or doesn’t immediately do what they say.

    True, true.

    Unfortunately for them, pissing off a cop is not a crime. Nor is it cause for using force.

    If you were to piss off a McDonald’s employee they can’t spit in your food. They would still have to smile and say, “Would you like fries with that?” You know, be professional.

    Cops –better trained, better paid, and more important to our society– do not have that same obligation, apparently.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    Until the frat boy mentality is abolished and leadership takes responsibility for abuses this will not change. These guys are actually trained into an us versus them state of mind.

    Oh, and I see someone is in a foul mood today as well.

  9. Steve Verdon says:

    Unless of course these are extremely rare isolated cases. Only if these are routine everyday occurrences would they be “not that astonishing at all”.

    Rick are you really defending this somewhat authoritarian position.

    “Murder isn’t that bad becuase its rare.”

  10. hcantrall says:

    It seems like Rick really just has a hard-on for you Steve =)

  11. another matt says:

    Take a 20 year old kid with a high school degree (different requirements for different states) and send them through a 6 month program, put a gun in his hand, and then send him out to perform peace keeping operations with the general public. I can’t imagine what could go wrong…

  12. Rick DeMent says:

    Rick are you really defending this somewhat authoritarian position.

    Sure and frankly I’m fairly sympathetic to what I think you are trying to say Steve. That there are a lot of cops that enjoy being the heavy way to much. But that still doesn’t absolve you of some kind of rigor in making your case. Are cops, on the whole, lawless freaks? Your post does nothing to answer that basic question.

    As Matt points out police officer is a pretty crappy job. Low pay and minimal training for very dangerous work. The question is why don’t we demand more and the answer is because we don’t want to pay for it. Just keep cutting those taxes and you will get your libertarian dream and it will be run by the equivalent of Somalian warlords

  13. Steve Plunk says:

    Our police officers are paid well above the average citizen. The retirement system is gold plated. Health care the same. Low pay? No. Bad training and misplaced priorities are the problem.

  14. floyd says:

    I hope that trooper fails to yield to a U.S. Postal delivery truck and causes an accident! He’ll learn a little something about his responsibilities.[lol]

  15. Steve Verdon says:

    Sure and frankly I’m fairly sympathetic to what I think you are trying to say Steve. That there are a lot of cops that enjoy being the heavy way to much. But that still doesn’t absolve you of some kind of rigor in making your case. Are cops, on the whole, lawless freaks? Your post does nothing to answer that basic question.

    The fact that you ask the question indicates, to me, that there is a problem. Police are supposed to be professionals. Professionals do not lose their cool like so many cops have.

    As Matt points out police officer is a pretty crappy job. Low pay and minimal training for very dangerous work. The question is why don’t we demand more and the answer is because we don’t want to pay for it. Just keep cutting those taxes and you will get your libertarian dream and it will be run by the equivalent of Somalian warlords

    1. That isn’t the libertarian dream, but an anarcho-capitalist dream.
    2. It could turn out like very early Pennsylvania, Iceland, or even the Old West, which despite pop culture was not like the Somali Warlords.

    I don’t think throwing money at the problem is going to solve it. I don’t think you are going to cure the militarization of the countries police departments by paying cops more. Here in CA one of our major problems is that public employees have very nice compensation packages. The regularly get pay increases higher than the general population and as Plunk notes have very good benefits.

    For example Bernard Parks gets close to 100% of his pay as police chief. It is my understanding that is how it works for most police officers if you put in enough years.

    Nothing justifies the kind of violence and quite frankly the thuggery these videos and stories show us.

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