Woman claims coverup

Woman claims coverup

This is a discussion on Woman claims coverup within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/14/Ne...ns_crash.shtml Woman questions crash investigation City police are investigating an accident involving their officer in Gulfport. By CHRISTINA SILVA, Times Staff Writer Published November 14, ...

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Thread: Woman claims coverup

  1. #1
    Member Array nkanofolives's Avatar
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    Woman claims coverup

    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/14/Ne...ns_crash.shtml


    Woman questions crash investigation

    City police are investigating an accident involving their officer in Gulfport.

    By CHRISTINA SILVA, Times Staff Writer
    Published November 14, 2007
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    ST. PETERSBURG - Jody Robinson believes she has been wronged.

    She was driving to pick up her prescription from Walgreens in Gulfport in October when she got into a car accident with a St. Petersburg police officer.

    Ultimately, St. Petersburg police determined that Robinson had attempted to change lanes illegally and issued her a traffic citation.

    But Robinson said Officer Michael Ward had been speeding when his unmarked police car crashed into hers as she was switching lanes. That information was included in a Gulfport report but not in the St. Petersburg police report.

    Now, Robinson, 55, is determined to prove her innocence. St. Petersburg police say they acted routinely and Robinson is trying to avoid a blight on her driving record.

    Robinson questions several factors surrounding the incident:

    - St. Petersburg police investigated the crash, even though it took place in Gulfport.

    - No witness statements were included in the St. Petersburg police crash report, including Robinson's.

    - St. Petersburg police did not record the estimated speed of either driver at the time of the crash, despite Robinson's claim that Ward had been speeding.

    St. Petersburg police spokesman William Proffitt said police did not include witness statements in their report because none of the parties in the accident were charged with a crime.

    On Oct. 20, Robinson was driving her Nissan Altima east on 22nd Avenue S in Gulfport. She needed to pick up a prescription at Walgreens, so she prepared to make a U-turn near 54th Street S, according to a statement she gave Gulfport police.

    She told police that she looked in her rearview mirror and was switching lanes when she saw a silver vehicle approaching rapidly from behind in the left lane. The approaching car slammed into the left rear end of her car.

    Both vehicles were nearly totaled, and both drivers received minor injuries.

    More than a dozen St. Petersburg officers suddenly arrived. They told Gulfport police they would handle the investigation.

    Gulfport police spokesman Lt. Robert Vincent said the law allows police departments to investigate traffic violations outside their jurisdiction if their agency's officer is involved.

    Even so, it's "inappropriate," Vincent said. "I know we wouldn't do it."

    Eileen Navarro said she didn't see the accident but came out of her boutique on 22nd Avenue S once she heard the crash.

    "At one time I counted, and there were 18 officers. I said, wow, this is certainly a lot of officers for what seemed like a minor traffic accident," she said.

    Robinson is set to appear in traffic court soon. If found guilty, her insurance company could hold her responsible for covering Ward's workers' compensation claim, said Diane Bailey, a St. Petersburg attorney representing Robinson.

    Cristina Silva can be reached at 727 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

    [Last modified November 13, 2007, 2327]



    Alrighty then, first, lets not make this a cop bashing thread. Second, I especially want LEO's and lawyers input on this. Does this look fishy to you? If so, how should the police agencies reacted. Lastly, does this lady stand a snowballs chance in hell of winning this case?


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    If it were not an LEO involved, she never would have gotten the ticket, as the law is if you rear end another vehicle, it is your fault.

    I'm guessing she will lose the case, as the assumption in most courts is to believe the LEO in traffic cases.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    I am a volunteer firefighter and have been to a few scenes that were officer involved accidents. I strongly believe that the agency involved in the accident shouldn't do the accident investigation. For example, the two most recent call were both our local PD. One investigation was done by our local PD and one was done by the California Highway patrol. In both cases the Officer was cleared of any wrong doing but in the first accident a lot of mistrust was created because of how the investigation was done.

    I just think it makes a lot more sense to ask a different agency to do the accident investigation.
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  4. #4
    Member Array charmincarmens's Avatar
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    Rear End

    Where I come from, if you are hit in the rear, the hitter is at fault. Failure to control your car and keep a safe distance. She will win if she has a lawyer with have a brain. It's not against the law to change lanes properly.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    I was rear ended by a cop's wife. The cop got on scene and convinced the investigating officer that a phantom vehicle caused his wife to hit us, even though the story was all wrong. Ended up suing the woman (insurance co) for damages, and found out recently that the state police are investigating them both for insurance fraud, because the damage to their vehicle got worse between the our accident and their damage claim. Personally, I hope they go to the big house, and he gets whatever rewards come with his felony conviction. I hate crooked cops, and there is a big crackdown in these parts over fraud.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    If it were not an LEO involved, she never would have gotten the ticket, as the law is if you rear end another vehicle, it is your fault.

    I'm guessing she will lose the case, as the assumption in most courts is to believe the LEO in traffic cases.
    Not always. Even if the LEO was speeding, it wasnt his actions that caused the accident. It was her lane change. If speed can be determined, both should be cited.
    And yes, another agency should do the INV. I was involved in a on duty crash a few years ago, another agency did the report. It turned out to be a fatality, I was not at fault. Of course all the mouth breathers out there said there was a cover up, until two of the most well known traffic units in the state came up with the same result. It just goes with the territory I guess... its much more fun to look for the easy answer than the truth.
    Last edited by SIXTO; November 16th, 2007 at 12:52 AM.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  7. #7
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    My wife was rear-ended by a relative of a cop. My wife was stopped because the person in front of her was making left and waiting on traffic. The woman who rear-ended her was not in control of her vehicle. Hit my wife's car and pushed my wife's car into the car in front of her.

    When the cop recognized the woman who rear-ended my wife he would not even give my wife a report of the incident. He tried to 'persuade' my wife that this was not something that should be reported. She had to jump through hoops just to get an incident report for the insurance company. She even had to get a lawyer for damages to her car and her medical bills.

    In accounting, the people who have custody of the money are not the same people who account for the amounts of money coming and going. To not have the appearance of something "fishy" the investigation should be handled by a different agency.

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    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    CPA's have a rule that there cannot be even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Too bad that doesn't apply to the LE agencies in this case.

  9. #9
    Member Array Knight's Avatar
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    I'm glad I'm in Indiana.

    About a month ago, I was driving in the right lane on a two lane road (one direction). There was a stop light about 200 feet ahead of me, with a line of cars stopped in the left lane (stalled vehicle?). I noticed this and started to slow down (which also was needed because I was going to take a right before the light). Next thing I see is a lady in the left lane speed up (she was initially stopped) to merge into the right lane and get around the stalled vehicle, hitting the front left side of my vehicle, ahead of the wheel. She did not have a turn signal on, I had no one in front of me, traveling well below the speed limit (going to turn no more than 20 feet from where she hit me), and in the end, her insurance pays (detailed and all too! ) In the report, it states that the cause was her failure to yield. So, in relation to this story, I can see it being the lady's fault for making a lane change without making sure it was safe.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    I have the highest respect for police officers, having had many as friends, and pertners on my volunteer rescue squad. I do believe though, that there is an inherent conflict of interest when an agency investigates an accident with one of their officers. I've seen what "attitude" does to anontherwise fine department. A friend of mine was involved in an accident 15 or so years ago while driving an ambulance ro a call.. An elderly driver ignored, or didn't see/hear the lights and sirens, and pulled in front of him from a shopping center parking lot. The accident was clearly the older genteman's fault, and he was killed in the accident. Now, my friend wasn't liked very much by the local officers. Their investigation was bungled, either inadvertantly, or intentionally, and they found my friend at fault. Another accident investigator, a former state police officer, and subsequently a private consultant, found numerous errors, such as when they calculated the speed from the stopping distance, taking the weight of the vehicle into account, the weight they used was for a totally empty unit, where there are hundreds of pounds of equipment in a typical advanced life support ambulance. My friend's life was almost ruined by their investigation of the accident, and there wasn't an officer inolved, just a bad impression of the driver involved. I certainly would not want Metro to investigate an accident that I was in if an officer was involved (By the way, this incident occured when I lived in another state. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was not involved in the incident that I described. Just want to be fair to Metro).

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