Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OHp Refuses To release Dash Cam Video

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol stated last week that they will not release the dash cam video from the Trooper's car that is now charged with rape. OHP claims that to do so could influence the criminal case against the defendant and they do not want to set a precedent that is unprofessional and irresponsible. OHP also stated that they have a duty to presserve and protect the evidence.

OHP has previously released videos when there are car chases or other incurrences that make the Patrol look good but if it makes the Patrol look bad...then we get this whitewashing statement about protecting evidence. Here is my letter to the Editor that was printed in today's Daily Oklahoman:

Subject: Letter to Editor_OHP Video Release

Dear Editor:

OHP's Aug. 19. 2011 statement wherein OHP justifies not releasing the dash cam video from the trooper's car alleged of sexual misconduct is extremely hypocritical. OHP states that every citizen accused of a crime has the right to expect the law enforcement agency preserve and safeguard the evidence and that 'haphazardly releasing evidence that could influence the outcome of a criminal case would be irresponsible and unprofessional -- this is not a precedent that the department is willing to establish."

Complete hogwash! Flashback to January 2011 when this same trooper used his car to force a suspected DUI driver into stopping on the Belle Isle bridge before entering a construction zone. Even though the suspected DUI driver was charged with several crimes and should have been afforded the same courtesy of not releasing the dash cam video haphazardly to avoid influencing the suspected DUI driver's criminal case,OHP released the video immediately after the incident. So much for irresponsible and unprofessional.

OHP's claims that they want to preserve evidence is almost as incredulous. As a DUI defense lawyer, we request OHP videos in every case. Although the report written by the trooper will state that the video was booked into evidence, I have many cases where when we request the video through court ordered subpoenas-- the response is that there is no video recording. I have asked troopers under oath whether they made a video recording of the stop and even though they testify yes, OHP's response is still that there is no video. So much for preserving evidence.

John Hunsucker

One North Hudson Ave, Ste 700

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102



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