Oklahoma Highway Patrol finally releases video of trooper attack on paramedic


It took a while for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to release a video showing one of its troopers choking a paramedic who was taking an elderly patient to the hospital, and now that it's available on YouTube, you can understand why they tried to suppress it.

I'm in awe of the dignified and articulate ambulance supervisor who bravely stands up to the sickeningly hotheaded trooper who is furious that anyone would dare to "jump out and talk to a State Trooper like that."

Patricia Phillips, Oklahoma Crime Examiner, has been covering the story:

An ambulance, with Maurice White acting as supervisor and paramedic, is taking an elderly woman, who had collapsed, to the hospital for treatment. Her worried family follows.

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.

J.D. Tuccille of Civil Liberties Examiner says: "Consider this a test case. If you don't see a paramedic's life-saving responsibilities as at least as pressing as the law-enforcement duties of a police officer, there probably is no limit to the authority you're willing to grant any government employee with a badge."

Oklahoma Highway Patrol finally releases video of trooper attack on paramedic


  1. Do we know if the paramedic has pressed charges? Or, for that matter, the patient? Does this cop still have a job?

  2. That ambulance supervisor has my immense respect for keeping a cool head during the situation.

  3. Good god. Strip that bastard of his badge.

    The ambulance supervisor is very level-headed and ought to be commended for not making an obvious maniac go even more insane.

    1. I can not tell you how much you made my day, you hit it out of the ball park, the sad thing is that is the truth…p.s thank you for commenting,i will be looking for more of your comments in the future.10 out off 10 john in TORONTO CANADA.

  4. It’s good that we give this kind of power to exactly the kind of people who should not have it.

  5. In Texas, we have so many INDEPENDENT AMBULANCE vans, trucks (companies), that it doesn’t matter what’s wrong with a citizen. They just get picked up for falling off the sidewalk. Think of all the bills that follow after that. Think of the money trail.

    Praise to the Oklahoma State Police. Oklahoma is the north bordering state of Texas.

  6. Another out-of-control cop who puts his fragile ego over upholding the law and the interests of the public.

  7. You guys have not seen this one?! 72 Year Old Great Grandmother TASERED For Not Signing Traffic Ticket:

  8. Um, Mackenzi,
    I know you’re trying to troll, but at least try to pay attention to what’s going on in the video. The ambulance was taking a critically ill woman to the hospital and being followed by her family.

    My question is: what emergency was so pressing that the state trooper could stop and go back to chase down the ambulance driver that supposedly disrespected him?

  9. If you’re a bully your whole life, your career options are limited. Some cops are good people who genuinely want to protect and serve. Some are bullies who don’t want to have to grow up.

  10. Article dated June 12: http://newsok.com/attorney-for-paramedic-in-ohp-trooper-scuffle-outraged-dash-cam-video-not-released/article/3377303

    Martin – a patrolman with two years experience — has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by Okfuskee County District Attorney Max Cook, who also said he would not file charges against Creek Nation EMT Maurice White Jr.

    That was nice of them, they’re not going to file charges at the EMT. And, the guy has 2 years experience? Time for a career change.

    Martin claims the ambulance driver, Paul Franks, rolled down his window made an obscene gesture at him, prompting the stop and ensuing altercation.

    I’ve watched the video, the cop blasts past the ambulance. At 36 seconds into the video, you can see the driver’s window for just a second. It’s rolled up.

    From the quote above: a car is on the right-hand shoulder, partially obstructing the highway.

    Not exactly, at 28 seconds, the car in front of the ambulance pulls over. the ambulance pulls over immediately after that.

    The car wasn’t on the shoulder, you can see it pulling over at the 28 second mark.

    on a different point, the cop’s wife was in the cruiser? what the hell? I’m wondering if she said something to the cop, like, “that guy just flipped you off”. I don’t know how the cop even had time to look at the driver, he’s past the car in a second.

    at 1:32, the cop car is pulled over at the gas station, and you can see teh whole car move as the door slams, and the cop gets back in teh car.

    He takes off after teh ambulance which has passed the gas station, and the ambulance immediately pulls over since there isn’t anything in front of it.

    This cop is a complete and total hot head.

  11. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you handle an overreaching police officer. Stand your ground calmly. I’ll have to save this video for later use.

  12. i see ambulance drivers speeding down the road with their lights on all the time, it’s about time we start cracking down on these hooligans.

  13. I’ve often wondered who had to pull over if an ambulance and a cop met each other.

    Turns out the ambulance, if he knows what’s good for him.

  14. @16 Beezebuddy

    Actually, turns out the ambulance should NOT pull over, if they have their patient’s welfare at heart.

  15. PTSD might play a part, another cost of war when it comes home.

    “Martin plans a press conference on Monday, according to Fox 23. Martin, who had his wife in the patrol car with him for an as-yet unknown reason, later declared that he’d recently come back from service in Iraq, a fact the OHP has not yet addressed.”

  16. I am not one to advocate violence against a police officer. HOWEVER the moment that the the officer strikes the EMT in the head (6:09)? After he was already strangling him earlier?

    I think I reached my limit. They should’ve beaten him down to protect an innocent man from being assaulted.

    This officer should be in jail. Those minutes that he wasted to smooth his own ego could’ve cost that patient her life. It is obvious that he really didn’t give a damn.

  17. #19: I thought that people were screened for mental health issues before they entered the academy. Guess not.

    Damn that’s scary. The EMT was incredibly composed considering, I agree.

  18. i’ve said it before: this is why every moment of a police officers day needs to be recorded. If cops no longer believe they can get away with whatever they want on the job, maybe we’ll get a better breed of police officer.

  19. The rule when I was a firefighter was Blue lights overrode Red. So technically Firetrucks or Ambulances have to pull over for police running blue lights. But that was a technicality – we were all likely going to the same place anyway.

    I can’t imagine any police officer in our area doing something like this. They literally would have been fired on the spot. You don’t stop an ambulance *with a patient*. Follow the guy to the hospital and talk to him after? Sure. But that was just crazy. And crazier that the full story is out.

  20. Is it just bad video, or does the ambulance not have the emergency lights on? I wonder what the letter of the law has to say about that.

    Common sense dictates you let ambulances do whatever they want, under the assumption they’re trying to save lives.. but I bet there’s a regulation about this somewhere on the books.

  21. Both cops reports are here:


    Page 6 of 8, paragraph 2, starting “I shortly arrived”: I observed the driver of the ambulance, Paul Franks, extend his left hand with middle finger raised as a gesture in response to my earlier broadcast over the radio. I took the gesture as a sign of defiance…”

    Oh, that’s fucking rich. Cue the South Park video of Cartman saying you will bow to mai athoritay.

    page 6/8, paragraph 4, starting “I exited”. “I then observed the rear door of the ambulance fly open, and a man, later identified as Maurice White, exited the ambulance, and slammed the door, in a hostile manner, and approached me, saying…”

    Uh, dude, in the full dash-cam video at time 2:09 through 2:11, you can see the door to the ambulance “fly open” and then “slam”. If that’s how doors “fly” where you’re from, and if that’s a “slam” enough to frighten you, you’re a coward who shouldn’t have a badge.

    Also, at 2:12, notice White tucking in his shirt in a manner that few would call a “hostile manner”.

    at 2:19, the paramedic says: “I’m in charge of this unit, sir, my name is Maurice White, and I’m a (something) paramedic”.

    That’s what you call hostile? Being called “sir”??? someone identifying themselves by name? Someone telling you that they’re a paramedic?

    This cop should be charged with falsifying a police report.

  22. What I don’t get is how the police try to cover up for each other. They really don’t get that, in their effort to be a “family” and “look out for each other”, they end up doing more damage to their organization than any outside threat.

    Every meathead cop like this guy makes all the nice, normal, respectable cops out there look like asses. The good guys, the true good guys, need to understand that they should work to immediately get this guy out of the force, and to disassociate themselves from him as quickly as possible. Like a bad egg salad sandwich on a hot summer day, they need to get him out of their ranks and as far away from them as possible.

    By trying to stonewall and/or protect this guy, they end up looking like (a) they are colluding with him and (b) worse, that they are sympathetic to or defend his actions in some way.

    I don’t understand why good cops don’t work to excise bad cops as quickly and as cleanly as possible.


  23. Given that this is Oklahoma, and given that the ambulance was from the Creek Nation, there may also have been jurisdictional and racial/class issues involved.

  24. My bro-in-law is a journalist who once interviewed a recruiter for the LAPD. The recruiter told him, off the record, that he always wished that he could go over to the Parks Department and trade stacks of employment applications with them, because the folks that apply to work with at-risk kids in rec departments would make better cops than the hot-headed ex-military types that they do get.

  25. This is road rage pure and simple – this time the upset person was a cop. The cop’s wife was in the car with him and he was probably showing his testosterone by playing Mr. Big Man in front of her. I don’t know the correct procedure in OK for approaching a stopped vehicle but the cop does not look like he is worried about his safety at the time of the stop.

    The cop’s lawyer just held a news conference in OK and the gist of his argument is that the EMT should have allowed the cop to ticket the driver for not pulling over and then should have allowed the cop to arrest the EMT for resisting arrest. Also, according to the lawyer, since the ambulance was not displaying emergency lights, it is just like a regular vehicle. So the cop had no way of knowing that there was a patient in the vehicle. Poor judgment on so many levels by the cop. and now they are trying to make the EMT guy look like the bad guy.

  26. What I don’t get is how the police try to cover up for each other. They really don’t get that, in their effort to be a “family” and “look out for each other”, they end up doing more damage to their organization than any outside threat.

    Yeah, it’s an inherent problem with organizations. I’ve seen it with other ones. The problem is that the people who are in a position to make a dispationate call are the ones that would rely on you in a potential future incident. So, it becomes a prisoner’s dillema game.

    Sad, but true.

  27. To the person wondering about the ambulance lights – it’s pretty typical for them *not* to have lights on going to the hospital. If the patient isn’t critical, then they won’t run lights and sirens. Our rule was if it was critical (Non-Breather, Gunshot, Trauma, etc) then we’d run lights and sirens. No reason to cause harm to others running lights and sirens if the patient isn’t critical.

  28. Every meathead cop like this guy makes all the nice, normal, respectable cops out there look like asses. The good guys, the true good guys, need to understand that they should work to immediately get this guy out of the force, and to disassociate themselves from him as quickly as possible.

    Unfortunately, this never happens. Instead, the supposed “good” cops do nothing. Or worse, actively protect the rotten cop. Now, how would these good cops see you if YOU actively protected a lawbreaker? Of course…you’re an accomplice.

    “Good cops” who do nothing are no better than the bad cops. Sorry. They taint themselves through their own inaction. As such, they deserve whatever scorn, disprespect, and mistrust the public heaps upon them.

  29. Note that the paramedic is screwed no matter what he does; he cannot relinquish the patient to the driver (if he’s an EMT and not a paramedic), as that’s a lower standard of care. If he doesn’t do what the cop says, things get all hot and arrest-y. I’ll give him this- he’s as professional under fire as any patient could ever hope his medic would be.

    It’s a bad sign that the officer was fresh from Iraq. It’s also worse (I read the paramedic’s written account) that the other officers refused to help the medic in his claims of impropriety.

  30. *sigh*
    What we have here is a failure of evolution…
    Alpha male vs. alpha male.

    Police officers are taught to take control of a situation no matter what.

    Quite simply, the officer started off feeling disrespected, obviously became frightened by the number of uncontrolled people in his 17 foot radius, overreacted to the EMT supervisor’s alpha male aggression – yes, he was aggressive, watch the car cam – and basically acted in a barbaric way (and according to *ahem* Fox News, the officer’s wife was in the cop car, making the situation worse). And, by barbaric way, I mean responded to the situation by disregarding his training, and behaving like an alpha male animal instead of like a rational being. That’s what all the training that officers have to have is supposed to prevent!

    What we have here is a tempest in a teapot, two guys acting like three year olds, and a obvious need for the trainers of this officer to review and revamp their methods. This is shameful police work and for that matter shameful human behavior on both fronts.

    What I saw:

    1) Why did the officer re-engage the ambulance in the first place? What did the EMT driver do / say on the radio to provoke it, if anything? And why did the officer rise to the occasion? Did the alleged presence of the officer’s wife have anything to do with it?

    2) Why did the EMT supervisor engage the officer? He should have listened to what the officer had to say rather than engaging the officer in a confrontation / dominance display, yes?

    3) “And I won’t put up with you talking to my driver like that.” On a personal level, good for him; but on a supervisory level, when you engage an obviously upset individual, you don’t escalate, you defuse. The driver had it right, take the ticket, go to court, subpoena the dash cam, beat the ticket and sue the OSP’s hindquarters off.

    4) Just in case you miss it, just after the previous quote, the officer a)backs up and b)says “Come over here, Paul”! Not, pal, PAUL (i.e. refers to the driver by name. So we establish that: a) the officer feels threated by the supervisor and b) the officer and driver know each other… or at least have dealt with each other at some point. I wonder about what kind of previous relationship the two have had, hmmm?

    5) When, during any stop, and armed officer starts swearing at you, STOP, take whatever ticket, citation, summons, etc. and GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM! If he is in a uniform, he is trained NOT TO BEHAVE THIS WAY, and if he is acting this way, then he is, AT BEST, dangerously unstable. If you want to fight, fight it out with the judge; you will not win a confrontation with an officer, EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT! If you escalate, it goes from “Trooper attack on motorist” to “Man assaults police officer.” Remember, sometimes all the other guy wants is for you to lose control, so he can respond in “self-defense”.

    6)”Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Answer: we all do. This is a ringing endorsement of video surveillance gone right! I believe that the more authority you have, the more you should be watched… and yes, I think these systems should be installed in private cars and everyone should have a video camera handy… oh yea, cell phone cameras!

    Trust but verify, and trust in God, but all others … etc.

    And finally, as with most situations that spiral out of control, there were mistakes made on both sides; and the truth of the matter is much more complex than we want in our sound bite world of “good guy/winners”, “bad guy/losers” and throwback alpha males pissing testosterone all over the place.

    *sigh* When is our species scheduled to evolve some actual intelligence again? I wanna mark my calendar… and hibernate until then…

  31. of all the police killed every year, how many are violent thuggish assholes and how many are not?

  32. So the police are pissed because the ambulance driver didn’t pull to the side to let the policeman get to whatever call he was on. But if it was so important to get to, why the hell did he take the time to make a u-turn and pull over the ambulance instead of going to the call? That’s the big question to me… this whole thing is messed up. Those cops need to be fired immediately.

  33. #39 Too few, I’m afraid. The violent thuggish assholes are all busy throttling people who won’t fight back.

    Re: the good cop/bad cop situation, why would good cops even WANT to keep bad ones in line? Cops haven’t needed or used an Officer O’Friendly image in decades. They don’t want you to like them. They get obedience from the threat of disproportionate force, to be liberally applied at the first sign of disrespect or doubt. If that doesn’t intimidate you, they call a buddy to help work you over.

    The ideal situation is a bunch of good cops and one bad cop. The bad cop spend his time beating holy hell into people for no goddamn reason, and the good cops all reap the benefit of the resulting fearful uncertainty. After all, there’s no telling if the cop who just ordered you to zip up your jacket is a good one or not. Better to just do it and not be made an example of.

  34. #42
    The existence of ‘good’ cops within the context you provide is nullified by the amoral behavior of reaping the particular benefits you outline.

    Frankly, I am curious as the ACTUAL benefits of some forms of policing in the first place.

  35. If you read the medic’s narrative of the account, a lot becomes clearer.


    Specifically, the officer said “you should consider checking your rearview mirrors” with respect to their first encounter. As he passed, the police officer perceived a hand gesture on the part of the driver (described as the “universally recognized gesture” of surprise or “what did I do?”) as the driver flipping him off. Probably some glare on the windshield obscuring one hand, and it made it look like he was being flipped off.

    He probably had just enough time to arrive on scene at the car theft to think to himself he should give the ambulance driver a piece of his mind, and it escalated from there.

    Again, the medic did a great job under the circumstances. The cop- not so much. Chalk it up to PTSD from his time in Iraq. Do something ugly to his permanent record, pay out a big wad of cash to the patient (and probably the medic and the driver), and just bury it forever. If the cop manages to get his life under control at some future point in time- good for him. If not, there goes his career, hopefully without taking out himself or someone with him.

    Very ugly stuff from the medic’s formal report:

    “Throughout the entire encounter after officer 606 had physically assaulted me, and prevented me from maintaining any patient care, I repeatedly asked who I should contact to report the assault committed upon me by officer 606. I was told several times by both officers that it was not their job to tell me who to contact to report an offending officer. I politely asked this question several times since I found their answers to be somewhat incredulous. After about the forth request I was told that I should contact the Okfuskee S.O., and the county D.A. Otherwise, the two new officers on the scene refused to hear my complaint against officer 606. I was informed that it “is not our job to receive criminal complaints against another officer”.”

  36. You can analyze it to pieces, but there’s no point. It all comes down to one thing: the officer should not have engaged the ambulance via radio while on his way to the stolen car scene. That alone shows me that the man has an irrational mind and does not prioritize his responsibilities well.

    RickB @21 says PTSD is a factor here. If so, then the OHP should have had enough common sense to not hire a man who had only just returned from active duty. Where I live, candidates for hire have to wait 18 months before consideration.

  37. Santa’s knee here:

    As long as “Good Cops” consent to hide “Bad Cops” – there are no “Good Cops”…

  38. “Why did the officer re-engage the ambulance in the first place?”

    Because this is the South and everything is oriented towards making sure the ni**ers keep in their place. It’s hard work being the master race. You have to work extra to make sure no one gets the idea there is the slightest chance for rebellion.

    It wasn’t a case of alpha male against alpha male. The EMT knew what was coming and he wanted to protect his driver from even more extreme violence. The presence of the other witnesses prevented escalation of the event, they didn’t add to it. If it had been just the EMT, the driver and the cop alone it would have been far worse.

  39. CNN reports the cop is now on Administrative Leave. But HE requested it…so it doesn’t count.

  40. @ #47 – That adds nothing to this discussion whatsoever. The EMT was protecting his white driver from the white cop? That makes sense.

  41. #46, your equation is poorly constructed. what about police officers like my sister who got a corrupt chief fired for being a bad cop?

    as long as some good cops consent to hide bad cops, they’re no good cops?

    she’s a good paramedic now.

  42. The officer has stated that the ambulance sirens was not on when he pulled the ambulance over. This is very stupid. Once he had pulled it over and learned that it was carrying a patient to the hospital, he should have said, “follow me” and insured that it got to the hospital as quickly as possible. After the patient (who had no fault in all of this) had been taken care of, he could have confornted the EMTs for disrespect. Now that the tape is out on the internet and shows such as The Situation Room, etc. he is in very big trouble even for the State of Ok.

  43. Well, Cpt. Tim, she’s not a cop any more, is she? So it works. Cops who stay in are corrupted; cops who refuse to be corrupted are forced out. Result: good cops have a very short half-life. In your sister’s case, she decayed* into a paramedic, which certainly isn’t a bad thing to be.

    It looks like once the corruption starts and an honest cop runs into it, his/her choices are to become an honest former cop—or a formerly-honest cop.

    If I’m misreading what you said, and she got rid of the corrupt chief and stayed on the force, and left because she was being drawn to paramedicine, rather than pushed away from police work, then she’s a superhero, and I admire her greatly.

    I admire her anyway, actually. Doing the right thing usually has adverse consequences, and doing it anyway is laudable.
    *In the nuclear sense only

  44. @46

    First of all Oklahoma isn’t considered part of “The South”. Second of all, it’s unenlightened bigotry on your part to suggest that the south is one big cesspool for growing mindless supporters of the master race.

    I’ve seen racism in every state of the union. “The South” doesn’t have a thing to do with this.

    But thanks for the harsh, blanketing judgement based entirely on stereotypes. Very enlightening.

  45. who becomes a cop? Bullies who want to keep bullying after high school, victims who want to be the ass kickers for a change after high school and a few who genuinely want to fight evil and help people.

    Who is left after three years? The job changes people and squeezes out those that won’t change.
    Who bosses the cops? How do you get to be a cop boss? What does a local politician’s asshole taste like?

    Start by weeding out the obvious criminals. Have civilian investigation of complaints against police. No cops investigating cops. Not happy with your cops? Crucify whatever son-of-a-bitch you voted for then, it’s HIS fault.

    And get rid of your Nixon-created bullshit drug war, that alone will clear up half the problems.

    1. The cops in San Francisco are really quite nice. Clearly it’s possible to have a police department that works for the citizens. But of course, the local cops come from the same pool as the local citizens. A population with an unexamined respect for authority is going to have a very different police force than a population that loudly holds its government responsible for every action.

  46. PTSD, maybe, if so, HE’S GOT A F***KING GUN!

    He came back from iraq, he needs time to cool off.
    You never stop a medical vehicle, fair enough the lights weren’t on, he was told (in a very calm manner, kudos to the EMT) that the had a patient, you follow the ambulance to the hospital. seriously, do you think an ambulance can outrun a squad car?

    A cop drives at high speed to the scene of a stolen car, to fill out paperwork, with his wife on board?
    Guys like him shouldn’t be able to vote, let alone be cops..

    fair enough, if he has PTSD we could assume extenuating circomstances on his behalf.
    His employers have no excuse.

    #50 “as long as some good cops consent to hide bad cops, they’re no good cops?”

    who said “all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”?

    (and kudos to the family as well, not many people would just make comments and take photos without physical reactions)

  47. Remember the old trope of an officer pulling over a speeding car, and when informed that it was because the wife was in labor he suddenly became the escort to the hospital?

    Remember that?

  48. If you feel like being proactive about this atrocious event, here are the “Powers That Be” that should be contacted:

    Sheriff Jack Choate, Sr
    209 N Third
    Okemah, Oklahoma 74859
    (918) ***-****

    David Max Cook, District Attorney
    Creek County Courthouse
    222 E. Dewey, Suite 302
    Sapulpa, Oklahoma 74066
    (918) ***-****
    FAX: (918) ***-****

    Okfuskee County Courthouse
    P.O. Box 225
    3rd & Atlanta
    Okemah, Oklahoma 74859
    (918) ***-****
    FAX (918) ***-****

  49. Hatred is like a cancer and this is clearly hatred. What happens to the officer …i’m anxious to know.

    Michelle Pierre

  50. @47: Ah, but it was, and it was also a situation where neither side would back down. The officer viewed the paramedic and driver as obstructing his duty to the people, and then viewed the paramedic as resisting arrest, which he was doing, though justifiably. The paramedic viewed the officer as first delaying the treatment of his patient, obstructing his duty to the patient, and then actively threatening to put the patient in jeopardy by arresting him there and leaving her without medical attention. Both sides would probably have viewed any compromise as a failure to fulfil their duties.

    @54: While the driver/cop racism argument does seem absurd, I must admit that throughout the whole video, I half-expected the trooper to launch into some racist tirade against the paramedic, and the interactions were quite disconcerting from a racial standpoint. I think the incident probably has little to do with race, but that it is easy to mistake as racism because of the circumstances, and perhaps prejudice against the accent and background of the trooper.

    The PTSD point, if true, is quite interesting, and would probably suggest that the fault lies more with the patrol’s administration than the trooper. I believe there is a tendency to view PTSD as something that is exaggerated, but it can be quite severe.

  51. I only wonder, thanks to all the wars the US is fighting around, how many of these brainfucked veterans will flow into the police and feed their ego harassing peaceful people.

    Could anyone tell if anything like that happened with Vietnam vets in the 70s/80s?

  52. @62

    I find the racism point hard to sustain. The white driver of the ambulance was the initial target of the officer’s hostility. That said, I can’t say I didn’t half expect it either.

    After I watched the video a second time it seems more likely that, for whatever unjustifiable reason, the cop just flipped his lid. Maybe he and his wife were having an argument in the car while he was ferrying her around whilst on the job. He couldn’t win the argument with his wife, so he got upset with the ambulance driver for not moving out of the way. I’m not saying that’s justified, or that he’s a spouse abuser, but that seems more likely than racism.

    The PTSD point was interesting. I’d hate to see it get used as a catch-all to ‘justify’ or excuse improper actions on the part of the police. But, if the officer is suffering from PTSD I could definitely see a case of road rage or marital discord setting off a loss of temper. Because, if you watch, it was more like the officer was trying to control the situation, but had so clearly lost his temper he couldn’t hardly get his words out right. The aggression with the EMT did not look to me like a deliberate attempt to cause injury to the guy. If it was just going to be straight up assault he would have just started swinging and kept on swinging as opposed to trying to restrain him.

    But, remember. At the end of the day, no one was shot. The patient in the ambulance was not in immediate distress, as the lights were not flashing. Somewhat different in severity than say, shooting some unarmed people because you didn’t like the looks of them.

    Whatever the reason, shameful display of policing. And if he isn’t a black hating white supremacist, one that poor bastard is going to have to live down the rest of his life. Same on the tasering of cantankerous disagreeable old ladies.

    PTSD isn’t anything to play around with. And a lot of national guard soldiers struggle with trying to reengage with a civilian population all on their own, isolated from anyone who might be able to empathize. I second that it is a severe issue and its effects should not be viewed as exaggerated.

    Aside from all this, well done for the EMT for keeping his cool. Very well done. And well done with the family members for thoughtfully recording the events and not escalating them. Calm reminders of his mother in the ambulance continue through the altercation. Well done.

    @46 Anon., whoops on my last comment. Tpyo, I meant 47.

  53. In my experience (as a “Caucasian” from Oklahoma, not from the Causasus), most OHP officers are professionals, unlike this sample from the shallow end of the gene pool (the Tulsa Police Department even more so), but if somebody doesn’t lose their badge over this (minimum 6 months suspension, no pay, and civil damages) well, Sen. Jim Inhofe must be involved (the biggest screwhead from OK or points dumber).

  54. . It is impossible to safely pull over while slamming into another vehicle.

    Now THAT is some truly beautiful snark.

    There are some people who should just not be cops, in particular those that need the badge (and gun/taser/club) in order to enhance their egos. The problem is, how do you weed them out of the academy (while still putting enough cops on the street)?

  55. I hope the paramedic is fully exonerated. As for respect, the officer came out loaded for bear. Clearly he was way out there in his behavior. And it’s bizarre that he let the man with the cell phone take video of it all. I’m shocked he didn’t confiscate it immediately or beat him up.

    And I think there could be accusations of racism, whether you agree or not. The officer acted as though he would deal only with the white driver, which seemed a little odd and dismissive of the paramedic. Once the paramedic identified himself as the supervisor, a rational person would have deal with him and explained the situation. He did remain as calm as anyone could be given how the officer was all over him.

  56. @63 FUTBOL789,

    I’m in agreement with most of what you said, but this:

    “…remember. At the end of the day, no one was shot”

    is unfortunately telling as to what we have come to expect from ‘peace officers.’

  57. For every one of them caught being a thug on camera, there are a hundred who do this crap every day without ever being caught.

    Its called the “Blue Wall of Silence”. Even the so called “good cops” won’t rat on their crooked and corrupted brethren.

    No wonder cop killings are way up.

  58. @ 66 Church,

    Yeah. I’d probably soften that a little, but yeah. It was a little tongue in cheek, but it’s not good when you find yourself saying: “everyone calm down. THIS time, no one was shot in the face on the street for no reason by an officer of the law. Just a scuffle. Nothing to see here. Move along.”

    @65 Slywy,

    Yeah, but the reason he wanted to interact with the white driver was because he was who the target of the officer’s initial rage regarding both the phantom gesture and the not giving way. So, of course he wanted to ‘talk’ with the guy.

    In reflection I feel really bad for the ambulance driver. He found himself in a spot where the angry officer of the law with the gun was giving him one order and his boss was directly ordering him not to do that. That was probably really awkward.

  59. The problem is, how do you weed them out of the academy (while still putting enough cops on the street)?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have less cops who I can trust, rather than more cops who I can’t. I find a bad cop to be more dangerous than any standard criminal.

  60. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have less cops who I can trust, rather than more cops who I can’t. I find a bad cop to be more dangerous than any standard criminal.

    Count me in too, for precisely the reason you gave.

    Corrupt cops are super-criminals — above the law.

  61. The Trooper was CLEARLY OUT OF CONTROl. Worse: He was unreasonable in his requests and prevented the Paramedics from attending to their patient who is at the mercy of the Trooper who is both detaining and attempting to arrest the Paramedics. Whom are sworn to protect their patient from harm and threats of harm.

    Clearly this maniac “trooper” needs to be assigned to a desk only. He is a threat to the community,evidenced by his inappropriateness.

  62. #72 I agree that he’s initially upset with the driver, but there’s something very dismissive about how he treats the paramedic. Once he said he was the man’s supervisor, a rationally behaving person would have addressed his comments to him — silly example, but if you start complaining to your restaurant server and the maitre d’ comes over to inquire why, you’d probably transfer your attention to him as the authority figure. I don’t think it’s definitively racism, but I can see how it could be interpreted that way.

    And I agree with whoever said he should have just told the paramedic and driver he’d escort them to the hospital, where he’d then deal with them.

    I don’t know who should yield to whom, but the officer is driving way faster than the ambulance (and faster than the emergency seems to call for — it’s not like someone called to say they were being held at knife point), he pulls around the ambulance when it looks like he couldn’t have seen an oncoming car had there been one, and he whips straight out to go after the ambulance as though angry that he wasn’t needed at the stolen car scene. That’s speculation, but he just seems to be on a rampage. It seems to me that police officers are by training and experience able to ignore perceived or real slights. They must get them from stoned, drunk, etc., perps all the time.

    Whether or not he suffers PTSD, someone who’s been in active combat should be given a cooling off period before being allowed to take on this kind of job. I’ve talked to enough veterans to know that, in combat, your mind is pretty much on “kill or be killed,” and I would imagine that that is hard for anyone to switch off.

  63. heh heh!

    “The cadets were then sent down
    the hallway to face the wall where graduation
    photos of past academies were displayed. The
    cadets were told that you have to “earn the right
    to wear the brown shirt.”

  64. thorzdad@35: This. Unfortunately, this never happens. Instead, the supposed “good” cops do nothing.

    hey, lookey there, only 35 posts, and already a “all cops are evil” post. Nice.

    Church@33: The problem is that the people who are in a position to make a dispationate call are the ones that would rely on you in a potential future incident. So, it becomes a prisoner’s dillema game.

    Srt f lk hw BngBng wld rthr hv rdrs fr hts nd dvrtsng dllrs thn t vr mk pnt t tll th “ll cps r vl” ppl t knck ff th stpdty nd tnfl ht dcy.

    Takuan@55: who becomes a cop? Bullies who want to keep bullying after high school, victims who want to be the ass kickers for a change after high school and a few who genuinely want to fight evil and help people. Who is left after three years? The job changes people and squeezes out those that won’t change.

    Tak, you’re just hopeless.

    Bt hy, vry pst hlps BB’s bttm ln, s, wh’s gnn stp tnfl cnsprcy thrs.

    Cngrtltns, BB, strrng p th nsn fr dvrtsng dllrs.

    1. Greg,

      The whole galaxy knows that your mother was a cop. Other people have different experiences with cops than you did. Disagree with it if you want, but do it a little more politely.

  65. Per #74:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have less cops who I can trust, rather than more cops who I can’t. I find a bad cop to be more dangerous than any standard criminal.

    I would have to agree. I have lived in and around Prince Georges County in Maryland and I find that a person has to be very cautious when interacting with the county police, who are notorious for their use of violence. As an average citizen with no criminal background, I have not been reassured when interacting with them.

  66. The problem is, how do you weed them out of the academy (while still putting enough cops on the street)?

    the ones we want to avoid giving too much authority to are the same ones who show up at the academy, day one, with the haircut.

  67. c’mon Greg, you can rebutt better than that – if your heart is in it. What is wrong with my thesis?

  68. If you watch the video, you will see, that the ambulance swings out to pass a MOVING car, not a PARKED car. The person in front of the ambulance was pulling over.

  69. If he’s just back from Iraq, that’s possible extenuating circumstances for the cop, but disgustingly negligent disregard for human safety on the part of the police department.

    You just came back from Iraq? Great, how about a job at a petting zoo? How about retraining as a piano tuner? How about house painting, or banking, or plumbing?

    But police work – who the $*&^@! thought that was a good idea?

  70. Why are there so many guys like this in policing? Because being former military will get you 5% to 10% added to your score on any Police or Fire Department civil service exam. What is the bell curve on almost all of these tests? Rarely more than 10%. You take people from the bottom scores to the top and what do you expect. PTSD? Maybe, but I think you are going to hear that used ANYTIME something like this happens to a former vet. PTSD is going to be the first thing out of the lawyers mouth. If he really does have PTSD then his supervisors need to feel the pain.

  71. You know what… no, this doesn’t add up. It’s not possible for BOTH people to be cleared of charges when the cop assaulted the emt.

    Either the cop is right in exercising force to apprehend a criminal OR he’s a road rage asshole making his dick look big in front of his wife.

    You don’t get it both ways. If any other person in any other line of work did it, they’d go to jail.

    If an ice cream truck driver with PTSD did it… he’d go to jail.

    Fuck him. He broke the law and as a law enforcement officer the penalties should be STIFFER not more lenient.

  72. From Anonymous6879:

    Ok, my opinion.

    @GregLondon: loved your clever points re: the last (that I saw) Palestinian/Israeli thread. This time your comments seem….less thought out.

    As someone said: PTSD with a gun and a badge?

    As a white Strineyan I don’t see any racism, I too was expecting nig-nog this and that etc. I was also very impressed that the family didn’t freak and that Medic could have dropped that copper with one punch. Full kudos to all.

    Also http://www.dps.state.ok.us/ohp/tngrct/Acad1.pdf is on administrative leave.

    I remember a tall weedy guy at high school always being picked on by the bullies. He joined the cops, filled out, grew taller and is now exacting revenge on everyone for breathing. Just sayin`.

  73. What is wrong with this officer ?… I get it…another dork from high school on a power trip ! on the other hand , if he is as retarded as he acts, i’m certified to teach him softball. Choking, finger pointing which is considered an act of aggression and by law you are able to defend yourself from any act of aggression. THEN…THEY LET THIS IDIOT OFF ON PAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE….JUST CALL IT A PAID VACATION WHY DON’T YOU !!!!
    The medic should be given a medal for putting up with reject!!!!!
    I always thought officers were supposed to be the “MODELS OF OUR SOCIETY” !!!!!
    The boy should be stripped of his badge and pending a psyc evaluation….might, and i say might be given a job gathering carts at wal-mart. But then he’ll start the same crap there to tring to taze people for not parking correctly.
    ALSO…that medic should have the badge of that Barney Fife wanna be framed and hanging on his wall for futer reference.

  74. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the mention of my stories. I have another two scheduled.

    This incident has outraged not only folks in OK, but throughout the country. This is not representative of routine or normal police behavior.

    Yesterday I published the story of what the trooper’s lawyer had to say. He called his client a “hometown hero” and had a lot to say about why the trooper was actually the victim here (!) and the crimes that were commited by the paramedic.

    No, I am not making that up! ;}

    Here’s the story:

    I intend to stay on this story. It’s an important one.

    Best wishes,
    Patricia Phillips
    Oklahoma Crime writer, Clarity Media/Examiner dot com

  75. I know that the classification of Oklahoma as the South is arguable (though the U.S. Census Bureau considers it so), but this story still reminds me of the section in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers about the culture of honor it says is so prevalent in the region.

  76. Anyone but an Oklahoman (maybe a Texan) considers OK part of the South, and the West. You know, the Southwest.

  77. Antinous: Disagree with it if you want, but do it a little more politely.

    I was no less polite than people saying all cops are evil, but more importantly, I wasn’t the one lying.

    If you wanna disemvowel impoliteness, then start taking out the vowels of posts that say all cops are evil. If you wanna disemvowel lies, then start taking out the vowels of posts that say all cops are evil.

    If all you really care about is hit counts, then continue what you’re doing now.

  78. Greg, I hope you know that I like you a LOT. I hope you’ll listen when I tell you you’re being rude TO THE BOINGERS when you imply that the moderation is dependent on what brings in ad revenue. You know better than that. You know perfectly well that you could tear the knee-jerk cop-haters a new one, just as you did the knee-jerk Israel defenders, without fear of disemvowelment.

    Don’t insult your hosts. That’s pretty simple. They weren’t the people saying “all cops are evil.” Attack the target you’re really angry at.

    Just friendly advice. I don’t have the keys to the disemvoweller (for excellent reasons).

  79. Takuan, I know you like to stir up trouble, but a) could you not right now? and b) I haven’t seen a single post in this thread that implies that all cops are good. Point me to one and I’ll eat those words.

  80. Xopher @92

    Ha, you forgot to include people from the deep south in your list of those who might not consider OK to be a part of the south. Not that being a part of the south is in any way negative.

    I think to be a part of “The South” you pretty much had to be an active participant in the CSA. But, even though Texas skips in there, I think people in the region would classify Texas as southwestern. True south runs the line from Louisiana to Virginia.

  81. xopher, if BB posted a thread about some particular individual who happened to be an Islamic extremist, and then some asshole came on the thread and said “all muslims are potential terrorists”, I’d say something to the asshole, and I’d expect BB to disemvowel the post as well.

    And if BB didn’t disemvowel the post, I’d say something to BB about it.

    The only difference is the topic is changed from Islam to cops. And certain folks are coming out of the woodwork to say all cops are evil. And I keep having this conversation with the folks who keep saying this nonsense.

    But at some point, it’s clearly become a pattern, and its clearly not factual, and its clearly something that BB could do something about, but for whatever reason, they don’t.

    Moderator/Antinous defends it thusly: Other people have different experiences with cops than you did.

    Except “experience” is nothing more than the plural of anecdote, and the plural of anecdote is not fact. You cannot experience the behaviour of some cops and make blanket statements about all cops. I could claim I have experience of some Muslims and that those few experiences were that they were violent, but even that doesn’t allow me to say nonsense like “all muslims are violent”.

    But cops seem to be one of BoingBoing’s favorite whipping boys/topics. And if a blanket statement gets made now and then, oh well, that’s just someones “experience”.

  82. Greg, none of that justifies accusing the Boingers of ad-mongering. Maybe you think cops are a favorite whipping-boy, but even if only 1% of cops are bad, that’s still a LOT of bad cops. And they DO get away with it. You’ll always have some bad apples in any group of people, but the cop culture makes it hard to get rid of them quickly, decisively, and permanently.

  83. The “cops are POS” post in the tearful-atlanta-cops thread was disemvowelled.

    Unfortunately, it still lives in Mr. London’s mind, and he sees it everywhere he looks.

  84. anonymous, yeah, I’m seeing it throughout this thread.

    #28: guy makes all the nice, normal, respectable cops out there look like asses

    #35: this never happens. Instead, the supposed “good” cops do nothing. Or worse, actively protect the rotten cop.

    so, the only cops are bad cops and cops who do nothing about bad cops or who actively help the bad cops.

    #39: of all the police killed every year, how many are violent thuggish assholes and how many are not?

    What the hell does this have to do with anything? Unless Takuan is suggesting that the police who die in the line of duty deserved it?

    #41: Crush the plague of the militaristic cult/brotherhood mentality in modern policing.

    Cult? say what?

    #55: who becomes a cop? Bullies who want to keep bullying after high school, victims who want to be the ass kickers for a change after high school and a few who genuinely want to fight evil and help people. Who is left after three years? The job changes people and squeezes out those that won’t change.

    Cops are bullies, ass kickers, and a few who genuinely want to do good. after three years, those few good guys are gone, and it’s just bullies and ass kickers.

    #61: ohh! he’s a veteran! That explains everything!

    (link to article saying US military is allowing white supremicists into military)

    so, all veterans are white supremicists? All veterans turn into bad cops? All veterans are bullies and ass kickers? wtf?

    #71: Even the so called “good cops” won’t rat on their crooked and corrupted brethren. No wonder cop killings are way up.

    So there are no “good” cops? And cops killed on duty brought it upon themselves?

  85. nope, no logical chain at all, just appeals to emotion yadaya.

    I invite you sir, choose one weapon and step up to the line.

  86. choose one weapon and step up to the line.

    find a good cop and thank them.

    On your mark, get set, GO!

  87. After 23 years as a Paramedic, I can most assuredly tell you that the vast majority of people leaving comments here do not have a clue of what liabilities and responsibilities the Paramedic was under. This was a no win situation. The Paramedic had a legal responsibility to act in his patients best interest. No where was there any kind of abandonment. You can step away from a patient. Abandonment is refusing to care for a person in need. The medic has total legal authority in this case. This trooper is way out of line. Unfortunately this should have been dealt with privately. The public’s confidence has been further eroded because of this bad press. I am embarrassed for us all.

  88. #28: guy makes all the nice, normal, respectable cops out there look like asses

    #35: this never happens. Instead, the supposed “good” cops do nothing. Or worse, actively protect the rotten cop.

    so, the only cops are bad cops and cops who do nothing about bad cops or who actively help the bad cops.

    Well, Greg – where are the good cops in this one, exactly? What about the schizophrenic guy who got beaten up – what exactly was the partner of the assaulting cop, the presumably good one, doing?

    Cops who defend bad cops aren’t themselves (necessarily) bad. They’re human – and humans don’t want to admit that members of their own group do bad things. They’ll put up with all sorts of cognitive dissonance in order to continue believing it.

    Yes, there are cops who are not only personally good and conscientious, but who actively fight the corruption and old-boyism inside their own police force, but they are rare, rare, rare. This is simply human nature. If we want the police force to be cleaned up for real, perhaps we need a separate police force whose jurisdiction is only police officers, kind of like the (North American meaning of) military police. I don’t know, just an idea.

  89. Tak,

    when I said “find” one, I meant actually get up out of your chair, take off your tinfoil hat, leave your bedroom-faraday cage, go outside into the real world, and find a real live human being who is a cop and say thank you to them. I triple-dog dare you.

    After you asserted on an earlier thread that bike helmet laws were nothing but a scheme by “the man” to keep poor people down, I’m pretty sure you don’t interact with reality much. It’ll be good for you.

    On your mark, get set, Go!

    (yeah, right. you’ll never do it.)


    you took “this never happens” and turned it into “this didn’t happen in this case”.

    If you don’t see a difference, I don’t know what to tell you.

  90. I hope the OK. HWP fired those redneck idiot cops. If my mom had been in that ambulance, I would own a piece of one of their buildings.

  91. another way to be proactive is to go to the oklahoma state web page and respond to the govenor request how to improve govenment and ask for the trooper’s dismissal enough input to the gov and something will happen.

  92. A very similar incident (although thankfully less violent and crazed) happened in our community http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2009/04/city_probes_fir.php

    The same dynamic though – a cop with anger management issues forgetting that in a medical emergency the paramedics are primary. I have to agree with the other posters who talk about cops and power. No one’s saying they’re evil, but it’s a truth that some of the people drawn to being a cop have totally inappropriate psychology for the job. I imagine that some departments are better than others at weeding these out. All law enforcement officers should be wearing video/audio capture badges when dealing with the public in an official capacity and the captured data should be public record. There’s just too much opportunity for abuse if they aren’t aware of the public eye…

  93. LMAO Yet one more reason why I am glad I no longer live in Oklahoma (which in case you are a complete idiot or missed #9’s post is on the North Border of Texas…lol) Good to see that the Good Ole’ Boys club is alive and well and continueing to cover up the boarish acts of idiots like this cop. How it the hell do we allow these idiots to get a badge and keep them after incidents like this??? And how proud is his wife that she got to see him act like a total ass and put a patients life in jeopardy so that he could show her who is boss??? Unbelieveable!

  94. PTSD? Are you kidding? Just because he has been in Iraq doesn’t mean a damn thing. I’ve been in Iraq…still here….I have yet to see a single thing that would justify even a moderate attitude problem, let alone a conflict with another person. But kudos on the perfect sympathy plea. Everyone is sympathetic to soldiers with PTSD…. hmmmm…If this cop can get away with assault because he was here…I wonder what I can get away with when I get home…

    Oh, and if he is suffering from PTSD, then he needs to be removed from service before he kills someone. Obviously his experiences in Iraq have effectively ended his career as a police officer….

    And to the cop…if he is claiming PTSD…then he is not only embarrassing cops, but the military as well…just one more a**hole ruining the good reputation of otherwise honorable instituions. Be a man, and admit you messed up. Take ur punishment and move on.

  95. Just saw this on FOX.

    I wanted to send an email to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, but their websites are down (the guys are probably under the table, hiding).

    That is one mean cop. Kick his ass off the force.

    If the OHP doesn’t rip his badge off, then we all know what a sorry excuse of an organization the OHP is.

  96. I think all cops are bad, just like I think all murderers are bad people. I find something inherently evil about being a police officer.

    The role of a law enforcement officer is built on violence and authority, and I question anyone that would want to step into that role.

  97. Hmm, I know, get some anger management and mind some manners! I don’t care who you put your hands on but not our paramedics trying to help our citizens. I know how they are, got assaulted by a couple in Edmond and I won the fight in court. They left me in a bikini in jail all night. Laughed at me the whole time. Yes I was arrested for public intox at Arcadia and my site was right next to the bathrooms. They were hiding in the bushes and got me as I was trying to relieve myself before bed.

  98. I eagerly await the inevitable “beer summit” to soothe the tense racial emotions swirling about in OK…

    Wait, President Obama doesn’t know the ambulance supervisor? Too bad, may not happen…

  99. There is absolutely no need to file charges against the civil servant Daniel Martin. He is clearly in the right in this case because the paramedics do not generate as much revenue as the State Troopers, and the ambulance slowed Trooper Daniel Martin in his attempt to arrive at the scene of a stolen vehicle where he could act this way with an actual criminal. The frustration he experienced due to missing out on such an exciting and potentially violent event is more than a man with a badge and a gun in a small town can stand. The ambulance’s occupants should have been aware that the Associate District Judge is David N. Martin, and that Trooper Daniel Martin has a moral obligation to abuse the citizens whose taxes pay for his salary. You would probably have acted the same in this situation if you had spent your entire life in a small town where the laws you uphold do not apply to you. Please don’t let this one Trooper affect the Nation’s opinion of the thousands of brave and noble men and women serving in law enforcement services.

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