The camera doesn’t lie.
And that’s what helped the Utah Highway Patrol and prosecutors to suspend DUI cases involving former Trooper Neil Green. He resigned after UHP began reviewing DUI cases he filed.
Attorney Jason Schatz defended a woman who was pulled over by Green. The case was overturned on appeal.
The woman was facing a DUI charge and lost her license after the state Driver’s License Division sided with Green. But during the appeal, Schatz obtained the dash cam recording of Trooper Green’s arrest.
Green was asked by the state attorney about the arrest. The following is part of the court record.
Prosecutor: “Did you get out of your vehicle prior to transporting her?”
Green: “No, no after Baker I remained with her.”
“He knew it was inappropriate for him to get out of the car when he was asked the question by the attorney general,” said Schatz. “He denied getting out of the car and the video tape clearly showed that he did.”
A judge came to the same conclusion.
Schatz says by law, after making a DUI arrest, an officer must keep his eyes on the defendant after checking their mouth for any substance 15 minutes prior to taking a sobriety test. It’s called the Baker rule.
When Schatz played the dash cam recording it showed Green actually getting out of the car contrary to what he testified. The following is part of the court transcript when Schatz cross examined Green about that very point.
Trooper Green: “I started to recall that. I believe it was the passenger of the vehicle (that he went outside of his vehicle to help) Anyway I believe it was her that I fastened her seat belt.”
Later when questioned about offering a new Baker as required by law Green answered:
“I believe I may have observed Baker a second time.”
But the dash cam video didn’t record any audio of Green saying he wanted to conduct another mouth test which he must do after breaking eye contact with the defendant. The case was overturned by the judge.
“You have people who may be convicted of losing their license, going to jail based on false evidence and that’s a problem,” said Schatz.
Good 4 Utah obtained a dash cam video that led to Green’s resignation from a defense attorney that represented Gavin Gabor, arrested by Green in 2013.
Green had his dash cam recording as he pulled over Gabor in Layton.
The trooper quickly learned there was a warrant for his arrest on a drug case in Sunset.
Gabor appeared to be explaining to Green that he had resolved it. But Green claimed he had to take him in. But then Green asked him another question. He asked whether Gabor had smoked any marijuana in the past month. Gabor said he did.
That’s when Green arrested him on a new charge of being DUI metabolite (drugs).
But his biggest mistake according to Gabor’s attorney was that Green claimed on his report he conducted a field sobriety test prior to taking him into custody and also offered the same statement when he testified in court.
But the video didn’t show that and his case was dismissed.
“When we have people the push the boundaries and try and get a conviction just to increase their record or get their quota,” said Gabor’s attorney Matthew Nebeker. “That’s bending the rules and things breakdown.”
Both UHP and prosecutors are continuing their investigation with Green.
For the entire article, go to: http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/dash-cam-video-shows-why-former-uhp-trooper-resign/52169/siSOLZa4oUmE7ooUDzdO6Q