AAID Advocates Against Impaired Driving
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INNOCENT VICTIM KILLED/INJURED BECAUSE POLICE OFFICER

PLAYED RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH HIS CAR

I have been keeping abreast of this situation involving the IMPD officer as it has unfolded in the news. Firstly, on behalf of ADVOCATES AGAINST IMPAIRED DRIVING (AAID) we want to express our sympathy for the three victims and their families. We feel outraged as they do that while this police officer's actions killed an innocent victim and injured two other riders while he was on duty, driving the tax payer's car and driving impaired, he was not dealt with in accordance with standard department policy. The violations of these policies by his fellow officers who were allegedly covering for him included the fact that he should have been taken to Wishard where any time there is a fatality all drivers are taken to be tested for any kind of drugs in their system, prescription or other, why would they think he would be exempt from this procedure? A lab tech should not have been allowed to draw his blood (as only a Dr., Nurse or Paramedic is qualified to draw blood for a BAC) this is part of all FACT Team training, they knew better ! and the sample should have been sent to a secured laboratory for processing.

The situation was exacerbated further by the fact that the officer in question was in jail for only 42 minutes and then released on a $ 10,000.00 bond when in Marion County the law (at least it use to be) calls for a minimum of 72 hours in jail and a $150,000.00 bond. Since when is the matrix system used and why were the public not made aware if this law was changed in reference to the apparent special treatment given to this officer? Even if the DUI charge's were not possible, the officer's license should have been suspended for reckless driving as it would have been for any other citizen. It is no wonder that the public as well as the vicitim's families are outraged as despite the particulars of this disastrous situation the officer's driver's license was not immediately suspended. Further, once the Chief of Police became aware that the top three officers involved did not communicate with him in accordance with department policy they should have been suspended, or fired instead of merely demoted to the rank of Lieutenant which still leaves them in positions of authority and responsibility. We believe that in this case, a small group of law enforcement officers failed us all and are re-victimizing the families of the victims. What a slap in the face of the victims as well as all law abiding citizens of Indiana.

In fairness to the IMPD, the greater majority of officers cannot be judged by the actions of these few as most law enforcement professionals take their oath to SERVE AND PROTECT very seriously. I know one IMPD officer that has arrested nine fellow officers for DUI in his 20 plus years career. He gives no special treatment for anyone arrested for DUI, as that is the way it should be, not the "good old boy" as it was done many, many, years ago.

In addition, the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) prosecutor is currently doing everything in his power to see that the officer committing this crime has the correct charges filed against him to the full extent of State Law. In my capacity as Executive Director and Victim Advocate of AAID I have had the opportunity to work with this prosecutor on many DUI cases and know full well that he does everything in his power to see that the rights of the victims are addressed. At present he has 100 % conviction rate and a track record of doing all that the law will allow. When this case does make it to court, it will be up to the judge and jury to ensure that the victims and their families receive a full measure of justice.

In closing I want to applaud and commend Mayor Greg Ballard for continuing the investigation into this disastrous and senseless event.

Citizens should take comfort in the fact that there are many more good and conscientious police officers out there on our streets and roadways protecting us every day and night than the few bad ones that occasionally surface to the detriment of their HONORABLE fellow officers.

Marie Greger-Smith, Executive Director/Founder

Advocates Against Impaired Driving (AAID)