The attorney for embattled state trooper Daniel Martin defended his honor Monday, blaming the media for the escalating coverage of his client’s physical confrontation with emergency medical technician Maurice White Jr. on May 24 in Okfuskee County.
"For the last three weeks, he (Martin) has not been able to respond because there is an ongoing investigation by the highway patrol, and any statements he would make could taint witnesses,” Gary James told a large media contingent at his Oklahoma City office building. "But, at some point, it becomes prudent to finally speak out to defend my client. That’s why we are here today.”
James called the news conference and spoke for more than an hour, armed with legal citations on emergency vehicle protocol, the Open Records Act and enlarged color photographs of Martin’s bruised and scratched arms taken in the aftermath of his encounter with White. Martin is on administrative leave while the Department of Public Safety reviews his actions.
"He (White) should have given him a bloody nose,” said Richard O’Carroll, White’s attorney, in reference to the photographs of Martin’s injuries. "That’s what bullies get. Trooper Martin placed his own, bruised ego in front of the welfare of that patient. In fact, I would ask this: What if that were your mother in the back of that ambulance?”
Two videos of the incident are now in public circulation — Martin’s dashboard camera video released Friday by the state agency and images recorded on the cell phone of the ambulance patient’s son. The latter shows Martin with a chokehold on White. It has received more than 1 million hits on YouTube.
Martin claims he stopped the ambulance after the driver, Paul Franks, made an obscene gesture.