Many people mistake being arrested and charged with a crime with being convicted of a crime. When you have been charged with a crime, such as drunk driving, the presumption is that the police or Tennessee Highway Patrol had a genuine reason to pull your vehicle over and execute a traffic stop.
People who have never been stopped by law enforcement tend to be generous in their giving the officer the “benefit of the doubt,” and assuming that errors in procedure or protocol were inadvertent, a mistake, or caused by the exigent circumstance of the stop.
They may not want to believe a licensed police officer, seemingly for no reason, punched a driver in the face and stun-gunned the person during a traffic stop. Had the driver complained, in many circumstances, no one would believed them to be credible. The officer could deflect the accusation by stating the driver had become uncooperative during the arrest.
But not in a case from Red Bank last April, where a police dash cam recorded much of the encounter. This incident has led a criminal indictment against the officer on “aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and official misconduct” charges.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation examination of the arrest occurred after the Red Bank police exonerated the officer of any wrongdoing and commended him for “restraint.”
Police, like all professions, have those who become overzealous in their activities and abuse their positions. There are numerous examples from across the country. In one case, from Utah, a former “State Trooper of the Year,” was found to have fabricated many fake arrests for DUI, some from drivers who hadn’t even had a drink when they were arrested.
Any time the state arrests a person, they are entitled to a vigorous defense, and should be presumed innocent until the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty. And those charged with a DUI are no less entitled. In fact, even a police officer charged with what this officer is charged with deserves his day in court.
Of course, the public deserves a right to see what goes on when a DUI stop goes wrong.
timesfreepress.com, “Red Bank officer Mark Kaylor resigns, indicted in beating,” Shelly Bradbury, March 5, 2015