Charges against two city police officers dismissed again Saturday, August 24, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
Terrence Kelly, police hearings officer, announced his decision to dismiss neglect of duty charges against Const. Darren Sirie and acting Sgt. William Freeman, says the Sault Star.
Sirie and Freeman are two of four Sault Ste. Marie Police Officers who were charged after Patricia Nisbett, the mother of Matt Howard who was hit and killed on Queen Street in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 28, 2010, accused Sault Ste. Marie Police Services of mishandling the investigation of her son's death.
Charged under the Police Service Act with neglect of duty and disreputable conduct in that incident were Insp. Art Pluss and Sgt. Joseph Trudeau
Sirie and Freeman were also charged with neglect of duty
After Kelly ruled there was no grounds for a breath sample to be obtained from Joseph Biocchi the Police Act charges against all four officers were dropped in January of 2012.
As reported earlier by SooToday.com, Nisbett appealed the decision, and an Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) decision dated October 12, 2012 revoked the decision by Kelly to dismiss charges against Sirie and Freeman but upheld his decision to dismiss charges against Pluss and Trudeau.
"We order that the Hearing Officer should continue the hearing with respect to Consts. Sirie and Freeman. He should receive such additional evidence as the parties determine relevant and he should consider such issues as may be relevant to the charges. Accordingly, we revoke the decision of the Hearing Officer to dismiss the charges against Consts. Freeman and Sirie and remit the matter to the Hearing Officer for a continuation of the hearing," stated the decision by OCPC. "We find that there is no evidence on the record to support the charges against Insp. Pluss and Sgt. Trudeau. In fact the evidence fully exonerates them from the charges."
In his decision of Wednesday morning, Kelly again reiterated his conclusion that there was no reasonable grounds to request a breath sample from Biocchi.
In November, 2010, Highway Traffic Act charges Biocchi faced in the death of Matt Howard were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Kelly has maintained that there was no evidence of intoxication exhibited by Biocchi at the time of the collision and, if officers had demanded a breath sample from Biocchi they would have been in violation of the Highway Traffic Act.
The Highway Traffic Act says police may not demand a breath sample unless there is a reasonable suspicion the person has consumed alcohol and may be impaired by its effects.
Nisbett has decided to let the matter drop, reports the Star.
She said she has no more money to pay for legal costs and that the hearing was, 'a kangaroo court' from which she expects no change in its decisions.
"This is a kangaroo court and I knew this was going to happen. I'm not surprised by the result,” the Star quoted her as saying. “(There's) no more money to fight. I think it's fruitless. It's futile. I've made my point. There's been a lot of public awareness regarding this.”
Nisbett said the section of the Highway Traffic Act that says officers may not demand a breath sample unless the subject of their investigation displays signs of impairment is a dangerous loophole in the law that should be re-examined by legislators and law makers.
Zing 8/24/2013 4:54:47 PM Report
"police hearings officer"
What ever happened to judges and lawyers?
Oldie Goldie 8/24/2013 5:09:06 PM Report
It seems to me that another Hearing Officer should have been sent to the second hearing.
Police ruling on other police smacks of favoritism even if it was legal.
RocknRoll 8/24/2013 5:14:02 PM Report
Just another Piece to corruption in Sault Ste Marie, We dont have a a true police force protecting its citizens but glorified security paid by the Corporation of Sault Ste Marie to protect the intrest of the City and are not really repesentitives of the crown but tax collectors for the corporation.
book-end 8/24/2013 5:20:33 PM Report
Really now folks ! Does this come as a surprise to anyone ? It has been the same thing year after year, event after event......either it gets swept under the rug..... or like in this case..... no grounds. Same Sh%t different day with our police department.
Darkwing 8/24/2013 5:36:58 PM Report
I love clueless opinionated people. So easy to criticize when you don't know the facts.
dayvan 8/24/2013 5:45:01 PM Report
this is insane. I am sure if I hit a person at 3am and killed them, they would take a breathalyzer...and the funny part is he was seen drinking that evening, but since he's related to people on the police force evidence was swept under the rug. who can you trust. so sad the mother has no justice, her son was killed and all she has heartache, and now debt. rest in peace, Matt.
Brianne 8/24/2013 5:45:52 PM Report
Lets hear the facts Darkwing.........
Tom_Bom 8/24/2013 5:55:03 PM Report
Of course they got off scot free. We have the most corrupt police force in all of ontario according to some poll I came across.
They'll scratch each others back, just like every other job. Whether you're a nurse, a bus driver, whatever. An internal investigation usually leads to the whole "i'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" kind of scenario and it's all swept under the rug.
That's the thing about civil servants. They're untouchable.
Tom_Bom 8/24/2013 6:04:57 PM Report
Darkwing, do you know why some of us are clueless? It's because of the failure of our democracy to put people on trial that should be. It's because our government is failing us in every way you could fathom (except for the rich, they're doing swell). Our rights are being ripped out from under us, and we currently live in a police state.
Do you know what a police state is? It's when they make the rules and can go around doing as they please without any repercussions.
harshbee 8/24/2013 6:05:55 PM Report
i agree with all of the responses,,citizens come second..
Darkwing 8/24/2013 6:14:28 PM Report
Tom Bom... A police state is a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.
The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.
There you go because I am pretty sure that is not how you or I live.
book-end 8/24/2013 6:17:08 PM Report
Darkwing must be a cop, or a relative of one. Either that or they are Blind and Oblivious as to what is going on around them.
just give me a bit....... I can only think of 3 or 4 things that just went away , when it come to our Police force rite now. But given a little time I am sure I can remember many more .
Lleoy 8/24/2013 6:17:41 PM Report
Is it Darkwing, or Darkdink? We are all waiting Mr. Professional.
Darkwing 8/24/2013 6:21:07 PM Report
book end i don't know what you are trying to say...can you clarify
Hunter101 8/24/2013 6:24:57 PM Report
It's funny that people are calling this a "police state" when the police were trying not to infringe on an individual's rights by not violating the Highway Traffic Act. Read the law people. You can't just give a breathalyzer to anyone you see. You need probable cause.
Hunter101 8/24/2013 6:27:38 PM Report
Please, do not give me the line "well he killed somebody so that's probably cause."
You don't have to be drunk to be involved in an accident which could be potentially deadly. Those are not enough grounds to demand a breath sample.
Darkwing 8/24/2013 6:31:36 PM Report
Hunter...be careful...you might be called a cop or relative of one. I just think it is to easy to critize and throw out blanket statements about the police or any profession.
roxpin 8/24/2013 6:33:16 PM Report
98% percent of police in this city are crooks anyways , thats why the crime rate is so high
Dead End Kid 8/24/2013 6:35:13 PM Report
I'm willing to bet that if that street car shooting in Toronto wasn't caught on video that case would have been covered up and swept under the rug by now.
Don't mess with today's police force because you will lose every time.
book-end 8/24/2013 6:41:19 PM Report
I am saying darkwing .......... there have been several incidents . involving Police in this city .that have been reported,then swept under the rug ( never to be heard of again). So is it that they were not worth following up on by the media , or was the Media told to drop it ? I would, and do believe the latter. These Kids ( and that is what they are ) that are our cops ... are out of control.
Dead End Kid 8/24/2013 6:44:35 PM Report
Hunter, there is a time to go by the rules and a time to use your gut instinct. In the case of a fatality at three am it would stand to reason to check if one may have been consuming alcohol as the bars closed only one hour earlier. in the case of a fatality, why would anyone object to being tested if that person had nothing to hide?
Darkwing 8/24/2013 6:47:03 PM Report
Yes the police have the power to tell the media to drop stories....come on.
book-end 8/24/2013 6:49:24 PM Report
hunter ......... a young man is DEAD..... would you not want to eliminate any possible reason why.... that way if it was an accident ( which it is either way ) The driver was to blame or not , responsible or neglegent ?
book-end 8/24/2013 6:51:00 PM Report
You dont think so Darkwing ! You are more Oblivious than I thought !!!
book-end 8/24/2013 6:55:06 PM Report
Darkwing .... is reminding of the leader of the "Good Ole Boys Club " Chief Davies himself. Could they be one in the same ?
Longlake 8/24/2013 7:02:14 PM Report
Hunter, I can't think of any more probable cause to give a breathalyzer test to Mr. Biocchi. He hit a pedestrian late at night, and admitted to police he had been drinking that evening. How much more evidence do the police need?
How can it be legal for police to stop a person on a roadside check, and force them to undergo a breathalyzer test, yet it's illegal to test someone who was involved in a fatal collision? If Mr. Biocchi had been stopped in a roadside check and related the same information that he had consumed alchohol to the officers, without question he would have had to take a breathalyzer. Yet he killed someone and it's illegal under the Hwy. Traffic Act for police to force him to test? This is ridiculous and the law needs to be changed! In my view, if you are involved in a collision involving injury or loss of life, a breathalyzer test should be mandatory for all parties.
I have a great deal of sympathy for Mrs. Nisbett. She has fought a good battle and deserves our support!
SuzyyQ 8/24/2013 7:04:31 PM Report
Can someone (with knowledge of the highway traffic act) explain to me then, why, doesn't this same "act" hold true when it comes to "ride checks" at the SSM boarder, or any ride check, for that matter? Back in 1998, I was asked to take a breathalizer at the boarder, coming home from across. The officer asked me if I had anything to drink, and I responded truthfully, that I had "about 3 or 4". I was asked to pull over. Correct me if I'm wrong, in this Biocchi case, didn't he state to the officers that he had been drinking, whether it was one or two beer????
Sam C 8/24/2013 7:08:21 PM Report
In Britain, the law requires that a breath test be administered if the constable reasonably believes the driver has consumed alcohol, is under the influence of drugs, or if...
(5)(a)an accident occurs owing to the presence of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, and
(b)a constable reasonably believes that the person was driving, attempting to drive or in charge of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
In other words, if you get into a collision in the UK, expect to have a roadside breath test administered.
HOWEVER... that is not the case in Ontario. Here, an officer MUST suspect the driver is intoxicated and is exhibiting signs of intoxication.
Like it or not, the cops were following the rules.
Certainly it would have removed all doubt -- either way -- if a roadside test had been administered, but the HTA sets out specific circumstances to do this, which were not met in this case.
Darkwing 8/24/2013 7:13:04 PM Report
Ok....well that was enlightening as usual. Time to go back to the real world. Don't forget to put your tinfoil hats on. Good night. Having said that...we are all entitled to our opinions which is why this is a free country and not a "police state".
taste_of_ink 8/24/2013 7:14:15 PM Report
Type "darkwing sootoday" into google and tell me he isn't a cop.
Gotmilk 8/24/2013 7:15:08 PM Report
Matt Howard was KILLED in this accident...KILLED... there is NO excuse why a breathalyzer wasn't given.
SuzyyQ 8/24/2013 7:16:24 PM Report
Sam C., your post does not answer my question. And never mind Britain, can we please just stick the the Canadian law?
book-end 8/24/2013 7:58:55 PM Report
@ taste_of_ink...... he sure shows up there dont he, when you google him.
JustMe1234567 8/24/2013 8:01:10 PM Report
I don't understand how it is not reasonable grounds to test for alcohol consumption if the driver admitted to police he had been drinking.
As a reasonable person, I would think that would give me enough cause, especially when a teenager lay dead as a possible direct result of his driving. I would want/need to be sure the admitted drinking had nothing to do with a 19 year old walking on the side of the street being hit and dying. How is that not reasonable?? It would have been the first thing I did actually.
JustMe1234567 8/24/2013 8:03:02 PM Report
I'm still gobsmacked that an officer hopped in that damaged vehicle and drove it from the scene of a deadly crash. Drove it himself!
I ask you, when in your life have you EVER seen a cop drive a subject vehicle away from the scene of an accident?
Maybe I'm wrong and it is common practice, so If you have seen this, please post and enlighten me.
RIP Matt Howard. Gone too soon.
Hunter101 8/24/2013 8:21:40 PM Report
Just_Me, the person in question who admitted to having a couple of drinks must still SHOW signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, scent of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, be stumbling around, etc.
Longlake, a roadside check and a traffic stop are two totally different things. When you pull up to a roadside check, it is their intent to check for impaired driving and that is why they are there. It is a totally random check, in which they must be consistent in how they check. It is a random police operation. A traffic stop (i.e. speeding) is NOT random. It is targeted.
Think of this: If police pulled over anyone who was in an accident/anyone who was speeding/anyone who didn't stop completely at a stop sign and just breathalyzed them without due process, what would that mean for the rest of your rights? There has to be reasonable grounds.
double eagle 8/24/2013 8:51:44 PM Report
Mrs. Nisbett can still honor the memory of her son by lobbying her Federal Member of Parliament ( the folks who change the Criminal Code) to amend the drinking/ driving section to provide for mandatory testing of all drivers involved in collisions where death or injury occur.
Beej 8/24/2013 9:47:40 PM Report
Too many things were out of the ordinary with this case and the majority say that the reason for this is because the driver was related to a city policeman and was given breaks that he never should have got when it involved such a serious incident.
I seem to recall a statement in the media that was made to Biocchi by the police that said something along the lines of "Don't worry, we're on your side".
I feel truly sorry for this young man's family. I wouldn't feel that justice was served either.
debo 8/24/2013 9:53:14 PM Report
You are wrong Sam C and SuzyyQ has it right (in that you should stick to Canadian Law).
Section 254 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that a police officer MAY request a breath/alcohol test if he reasonably suspects the driver had alcohol in his body.
Well, the driver already admitted that ... so those grounds didn't even have to be suspected.
BUT ... and here's the rub ... what officer was going to request that test when it was already stated "that the police were in his corner".
Maybe(only maybe??) a group of unbiased investigators would have administered the test.
Be realistic ... any REASONABLE person reading the records of the event (and the departures from NORMAL/MANDATED procedures) in their entirety would conclude:
A) These officers are totally incompetent and should be relieved of duty.
B) These guys are in someone's "corner" and don't want a test.
That the original "hearing officer" was allowed to continue is a farce.
All police forces in Canada need to come under oversight that is NOT controlled and dominated by retired law officials.
Norm 8/24/2013 10:39:25 PM Report
SamC, get your head out of the sand please. There's a law for you and none for the police. Simple as that.
T-pot 8/24/2013 10:45:54 PM Report
My father was in involved in a vehicle accident. It was on the highway, and a little "firefly" type of car was coming at him in the dead of winter, swerving and skidding about. My father let go of the gas and starting to make his way to the side of the road. The other car hit him, killing everyone in their vehicle. My father did have a beer with dinner, and was not given a test.
He was so shaken up, he knew the others didn't survive. The officers told him "don't worry we have your back". (Paraphrasing of course). But Police officers do show signs of sympathy in cases like this. Biochhi was obviously shaken up, and could have been told that out of comfort. That section is dimly lit, and I'm sure Biocchi had NO intentions of killing someone that night.
Matt was a good friends little cousin. I feel sorry for the family and commend them for fighting, and fighting hard. I don't think there was any malicious intent on the officers part. Even if I told an officer I had 3-4 beers, I don't expect them to give me a breath test unless they have reasonable doubt that I'm impaired. Biocchi could have had a little, or a lot. But unless they think he is impaired, they can't not test.
T-pot 8/24/2013 10:48:49 PM Report
98% of the officers are crooks? Where are the facts behind that?
And no i'm not related to any officers, nor am I one myself. I went to highschool with a current officer, that's about it.
I have had to call the police 3 times in my life, and they have been fantastic each time.
I had the police called on me once, and they were fantastic.
You all suffer from "stick-it-to-the-maniosis" (School of rock".
67Tanger 8/24/2013 11:11:39 PM Report
Again I know first hand....of police cover up. I was involved in a off duty OPP running a red light and smashing up my truck. He admitted full responsibility but was not charged by the investigating officer and backed up by "MR Trudeau"(a former OPP officer)
Yes ...they are corrupt(at least some of them)
RIP Matt...you put up a good battle Mrs Nesbitt....hopefully it was not in vain?
debo 8/24/2013 11:19:52 PM Report
Section 254 of the Criminal Code Of Canada clearly REFUTES the last three sentences of your comment @ 10:45.
Further, your attempt to paint ALL the other responders on here with the brush you've aimed at R&R is ludicrous. Many of the responders have looked at the totality of evidence and rightfully question the integrity of this particular investigation.
You on the other hand take the comments of ONE poster and try to apply that to all the other responses @ 10:48.
AND, by the way, your last sentence of 10:45 is nonsense (due to the double negative). You may want to re-think your debate style.
Longlake 8/24/2013 11:40:46 PM Report
Hunter: I understand your point about the difference between roadside checks and random accidents. And I'm not advocating for checking people in minor accidents.However, a fatality occurred here. Biocchi admitted to drinking. How did the police officer know he wasn't lying and had had more than 1 drink? A breathalyzer should have been administered. We are erring too much on the rights of individuals. A negative breathalyzer would have cleared up this whole mess.
Too many things wrong with this case!
northernmale 8/24/2013 11:58:05 PM Report
I was stopped at a roadside test one day , I was asked if I had been drinking. My reply was I had one beer earlier, I was given a road side test. So because I admitted to having a beer, I should never have been asked to take the test??? Also anytime I have known of an accident causing death the vehicle is impounded and towed,Not driven, with a broken head light, that in itself is a ticket if found driving.I feel bad for Matts mom she tried her best to get justice for her son.. That's why it should have been tried by a jury..No cover ups then.
Zap 8/25/2013 12:04:15 AM Report
Big surprise cops are just money collectors for the crown.
nerfertari 8/25/2013 6:19:34 AM Report
A number of commenters are willing to open their mouths about how they want the law to change - are they willing to open their wallets? The mother has no more funds for legal fees - would a fundraiser be worthwhile? She is right, a lot if awareness has come of this. My heart goes out to her and the family.
thesharr 8/25/2013 6:24:48 AM Report
Wasn't it said that the police drove the car that was just involved in a accident back to the police station,this is not procedure.
asp 8/25/2013 10:03:17 AM Report
I am a little late at responding but hear it is, there are two different rules for people in Sault Ste. Mrie, according to some police officers. Some will do their jobs and other won't. In this case this guy should have been charged for taking a life. That poor mother, can you image how she is feeling. The police in that investigation did not do thier jobs, by not performing the alcohol test. That test should be automatically done at every accident no matter. Look what happened when that guy killed 5 members of a family in Garden River, that drive should have been charged. (all of those lives that been taken, and on Truck road the that died there) When I took my driver liences the book says people have the right away so what ever happenend to that rule.Does apply when we it too?
EmmasDad 8/25/2013 10:13:07 AM Report
Hey, Debo. "Can't not" is an acceptable non-standard double negative. Nice attempt at flexing your intelligence though.
crashed13 8/25/2013 10:25:41 AM Report
It was 3am and the guy admitted he had a drink, no reason for a breath test there . Oh, and their was a fatality as well.
A person pulled over for just running a yellow light at high noon and saying they had one beer would be breath tested 100% of the time.
wakeup 8/25/2013 11:06:12 AM Report
Reasonable ground was the very second he admitted drinking of any amount an then operating a motor vehicle, no if an' s or but, plus the fact in a motor vehicle accident , a cop should never have driven the vehicle from the scene, which is also a crime as no vehicle is to be removed until full investigation, this whole case is a joke , to all you who say they followed the law , ya best go get lessons in law, they did not follow their own proceedures, talk all ya want,, this man was drinking an admitted it at 3 am and killed a person, what citizen would get away with such if not buddies with these cops , just like a opp whom i wont name who was drunk on duty an caused a colission, an i have all the facts as i know this person personally, not only did he get away with that, but years of abuse of his wife as well, but because such things are hidden he holds some what important position amoungst a certain rights group, so go ahead talk crap about how they did no wrong, as in my years i have known many cops, an they get drunk drive smoke pot an more so what ever , they will never be reprrimanded for anything an if anything they should be drug tested regularly an without prior knowledge, either way government are not accountable an have their closets locked an there will never be justice,
debo 8/25/2013 11:19:08 AM Report
Oxford Dictionaries(online)description of "double negatives" ...
"...they AREN'T considered acceptable in current standard English and should be avoided in all but very informal situations".
In T-pot's post the use of two negatives in the same clause (a positive) makes the sentence read ...
But unless they think he is impaired, they CAN test. (nonsensical)
Also @ E'sDAD
"NICE attempt at "not discussing" the content(90% or so) of my and other posters' points ...THOUGH.
T-pot 8/25/2013 11:30:43 AM Report
Yes it was a double negative. I'm sure everyone knew what I meant. Simple typo. I meant can not, and ended up with can't not. :)
Thanks for pointing that out. You must feel great about it today.
debo 8/25/2013 11:59:54 AM Report
Just as E'sDAD you don't seem capable or willing to discuss what 90% of my post (or most of the other posts) concerned. You want to label ALL the other posters ... but poor you can't be challenged???
Sweets312 8/25/2013 12:06:29 PM Report
Anyone that says our police force isn't corrupt is delusional....or, just lives in a bubble.
Vmax-4 8/25/2013 3:34:49 PM Report
@ wakeup - you're making a serious allegation against the OPP, drunk officer on duty causing an accident and spousal abuse.
I think you should post his name or send it to OPP Commissioner Lewis, just go the OPP Web site contact section.
Kevin5069 8/25/2013 3:54:51 PM Report
A corrupt system protecting corrupt cops. Hope justice catches up with them and Mr Biocci.
ACC 8/25/2013 6:28:24 PM Report
One thing some people are missing, Officer Freeman was the driver of the vehicle that his partner ws killed at Black and McNabb in May 2006 when struck by an unlicensed, multiple convicted impaired driver. Don't you think if he had an inkling thought that this driver was impaired that he would be a little more sensitive to pull the trigger and having a breathalyzer? It seems that people want others to have their rights violated, but GOD help if they ever had illegal search and seizure, they would take it to the Supreme Court of Canada.
fronz 8/25/2013 7:58:44 PM Report
Don't you see , it's the way it is .
I wish I could just wave my hand and make everything right but I can't .
What will correct any imbalances is what is in the souls of the guilty .
This is workable .
Relax it's already in gear .
I feel for the family , but there's still officials that you can contact .
fronz 8/25/2013 8:00:51 PM Report
By the way , the statue at the Sault court house isn't blind justice .
Go see what it really is .
debo 8/25/2013 8:20:40 PM Report
@ ACC (I posted some of this previously)
Read Section 254(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada and you will see that the officer had reasonable grounds to administer or have a qualified person administer a breath test. The driver stated he had been drinking. That in itself gives the officer reasonable grounds as the Code is written!
The officer COULD have tested and it would NOT have been a violation of the individual's rights. Then, no problem if/when the driver blows under the limit ... AND the cause or causes of the accident would have been more easily ascertained.
DIDN'T HAPPEN! WHY?
That the officer(s) CHOSE not to and their reasons for not administering under the circumstances of the event ... and their SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS to NOT FOLLOW established protocols leave questions in the minds of many citizens:
Why not administer the legally permissible test?
Why the rush to examine the victim's phone ... but not the driver's?
Why were comments made that might be construed to indicate a bias in resolving the case?
Why was the vehicle moved in a non-prescribed manner?
Look at the COMPLETE set of circumstances and I and many people I know wonder WHY?
WHY did experienced officers on scene manage to get so many things wrong?
In answer to your referencing the previous accident involving Officer Freeman ... well AMONG OTHER SUBSTANTIAL REASONS it MAY be that that driver had no family/friends involved in law enforcement.
BTW there are members of my family who work in policing. I have no axe to grind ... but I do feel Mrs. Nisbett and her family deserve more.
That's my opinion ... but I took the time and effort to examine as many relevant facts as I could BEFORE I formed it.
honestlyjw 8/27/2013 11:23:46 AM Report
our cops are the worst in any city i've ever lived in. to outright treat your citizen like they are beneath you is disgusting and all the comments from the people like darkwing are obviously associated with corruption. how do you get ahold o w-5 to expose these criminals. i think this would make an excellent story. this leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. do you have to marry into the police services to get away with murder....
amm 8/28/2013 4:53:03 PM Report
My heart go out to Matt Howards family and friends. This could have been an opportunity for the SSM police to review the mistakes that were made from start to finish and ensure that they never happen again.
1) The driver was texting when he killed Matt Howard - fact that has been proven but the SSM police only checked cell phone records of victim. When Ms. Nisbett brought charges against the SSM police the driver’s cell phone records were checked but because it was later than six months he could not be charged!
2) Driver admitted to consuming alcohol - requirement to administer roadside test. A roadside approved screening device is administered when an officer "suspects" the driver consumed alcohol. If they register a fail then they are brought to the police station where a breath tech administers a breathalyzer to determine the amount of alcohol in the drivers system.
3) When a vehicle is involved in accident the vehicle's computer registers information - ex if the brakes were compressed. When a vehicle is turned off and restarted it clears the computer. The SSM Officer decided to start the vehilce and drive it to the garage - erasing the info on the computer.
This is three clear examples of where the SSM Police made mistakes.
Instead of all of the PR and spin for the officers that were charged the time and resources should be spend of ensuring a case as tragic and serious as this is never handled in the same manner. Enough name calling and finger pointing - we need to come up with local policing changes and accountability.
Unfortunately Matt Howard chose to be a responsible young man and walk his girlfriend home since he had a few drinks - he paid with his life - someone took his life and has to be held accountable.