STROUD — Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials said trooper Daniel Martin, whose May 24 scuffle with paramedic Maurice White Jr. was caught on tape, will be suspended for five days without pay.
The suspension was effective immediately and runs through Tuesday, officials said during a press conference. Martin also will be required to see a qualified medical expert for an "anger assessment,” which may or may not result in further training or education by the agency. The punishment was negotiated between the Highway Patrol, Martin and his attorney, Gary James, James said. "I still stand by my belief that his actions do not warrant any suspension, but my client agreed to these terms for the betterment of the department and to put this behind him,” James said. White filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court, claiming his civil rights were violated by Martin. His attorney was disappointed with the suspension Martin received. "I think they might as well have said ‘next time we’ll get a rope,’” attorney Richard O’Carroll said. "They never spoke to an unreasonable use of force, so next time get a rope. That’s my quote.” Martin was removed from patrol duty with pay on June 1 after a video that showed him with his hands on White’s neck surfaced on the Internet. With a patient in the ambulance, Martin and White became engaged in a physical altercation that was captured on two videos and viewed nationwide on YouTube, receiving more than 1 million hits. In a release distributed at the press conference Wednesday, the state Department of Public Safety determined that Martin did in fact possess probable cause to make the traffic stop and had justification to arrest the paramedic for obstructing a police officer.