State Lawmaker Calls Trooper Martin's Actions, New Allegations Unacceptable
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is in the middle of another controversy involving an officer who made national headlines after he was caught on tape choking a paramedic during a traffic stop.
Trooper Daniel Martin is once again being accused of excessive force. Former OHP trooper and current state Representative Mike Christian stressed that this is a black eye on the department and said the majority of the troopers are doing a good job.
For 10 years, Mike Christian was a decorated member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol before becoming a state representative.
"Most of these guys out there are working, 99 percent of the troopers out there are heroes in Oklahoma,” Representative Christian said.
Now, Christian said he's upset that his former colleagues could be judged by the standard of Trooper Daniel Martin, who faces disciplinary actions for the second time in five months.
"We do want to give Trooper Martin deference and due process, but it appears there may be a pattern of behavior," Rep. Christian said.
Martin made national news in May when he was caught choking a paramedic on tape. He received a five-day unpaid suspension and was forced to attend anger management classes. Now, just 12 weeks after that punishment, Martin is being accused of excessive force once again.
"They used too much force and I was complying with them and they didn't have no reason to do this to me," Kristopher Douglas said.
Kristopher Douglas of Holdenville said Trooper Martin beat him with a nightstick during a routine traffic stop that Douglas had nothing to do with. Two other men confirmed Douglas's version of events.
Christian said leadership within the Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol allowed this to happen again.
"I think the current administration, the commissioner and the chief of the Highway Patrol probably made some mistakes with what they'd done initially in the first investigation of Trooper Martin," said the former OHP trooper and current state representative. "Had they done things properly, we may not have been dealing with a second Daniel Martin incident."
Representative Christian sits on the public safety committee in the House and is now in the process of launching an interim study into DPS and OHP.
"Obviously, this is going to be something we're going to look into," Rep. Christian said.
NEWS 9 has placed several calls with attorney Gary James, who was the last known legal counsel for Trooper Martin. None of those calls have been returned.
Trooper Tommy Allen, who was with Martin, has also been placed on paid administrative leave.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has already said it will make dash cam video of the entire incident available to the media once the investigation into Martin is complete.
Read More About the Trooper-Paramedic Scuffle in May:
-Trooper Involved in Paramedic Scuffle Faces New Allegations of Using Excessive Force
- Paramedic Discusses Trooper Quarrel on CBS Early Show
- Paramedic's Attorney Responds
- Attorney Defends Trooper's Actions in Paramedic Scuffle
- Was the Choke Hold Legal?
- Trooper Dash Cam Video Raises Concerns
- In Depth Analysis of Trooper Dash Cam Video
- OHP Releases Trooper's Dash Cam Clip
- Read the troopers' reports
- OHP Trooper Investigation Closed
- Paramedic Defends Himself After Trooper Scuffle
- Read the Paramedic's Report
- Trooper Claims Paramedic Gave Him The Finger
- Read a witness's statement
- Paramedics, Troopers Defend Themselves After Fight
- Trooper, Paramedic Fight Caught on Tape