Last Tuesday I had a case I was really looking forward to on the Eastern Shore. I had another relatively new officer, this one a Maryland State Trooper, and a video. Interesting that they have videos in the cars everywhere but the Baltimore metropolitan area. My eye was still repairing itself and it was a beautiful to cross the Bay Bridge. Now this case had some history. It was postponed the first time because I did not “check in” and therefore the State did not know to tell the police to come to court. The prosecutor was incredibly pissed at me and when he went to look for the officer he told me I could have my trial the NEXT TIME I came over there. When they went to look for the police, they found out that one was on his honeymoon. I argued that if he eloped the night before he had a good reason for not notifying the court, but otherwise the postponement should be denied. The postponement was granted.
The prosecutor suddenly apologizes in the hallway, and I tell him I did not give a s… that he screamed at me or that I had to come back. I did tell him to tell his boss he screamed at me as he would love that and to give him a message: ” Tell him to come back and try this case with you so I can kick his ass at the same time I am kicking yours.” Not knowing me, he could not appreciate my humor and left. When he came in Tuesday he was friendly and must have learned about me. The trial was AWFUL for the lying trooper. He testified to 6 clues on the HGN. That exercise requires 16 passes of the stimulus. He made 6 and he never reviewed the video. I asked him if you have to do all the tests by the NHTSA requirements and he agreed. Then the blood bath began. I had the clerk find a marker for the board in the courtroom. The then went to the witness stand, and using my pen performed each part of the HGN. After each, I wrote the name on the board and the number 4 representing the number of passes required. At the end I asked him if the total of 16 was right and he just kind of nodded and mumbled yes. I then asked him how many passes did he do and he did not remember. He is staring down at the frozen video on my IPad that I left in front of him as I started this torture. I ask him if 6 was the number and he did not know. I told him it was, and asked why he lied in his police report and to the judge. The objection was sustained. I then said we’d make sure and I played the video and counted each pass out loud until there were no more passes. The trooper is just staring down at that time as his supervisor sits in the back taking notes. He screwed up the one leg stand and the walk and turn. In fact he started with the wrong foot on the walk and turn and turned the wrong way!!! He got ambivalent in his recollection of the instructions so I showed him the NHTSA SFST Manual. He turned to the cover and then back to the page and nodded I was correct. He truly looked pathetic. Meanwhile my client does extremely well on these improperly instructed field exercises. The judge then suppresses the arrest and the breath tech is spared his turn the witness stand.
This trooper should be fired, but he won’t be. His superiors should have checked his videos and if they did and ignored this, they should be fired. The last one I wrote about like this is now still with the MSP but is off the road at a desk job. If he needs help, I have just the right guy for him.