If you wonder why there are many who question the authority of police officers and their ability to do their job without bias, just take a look at this dashcam video of two Minnesota officers arresting a man for drunk driving. They are friendly to the man, handcuff him and place him in the back of the patrol car. However, when they learn his identification, they then engage in what can only be considered to be accessories to the man’s crime.
Take a look at the report from KARE11:
Police dash cam video obtained by KARE 11 after a public records request shows what can happen.
On November 7, 2015, Blaine police officers responded to an alarm call at the Lexington Avenue Fleet Farm. They found a running car in the parking lot. The man in the driver’s seat appeared to be passed out. Police reports would later say there were “open containers of silver Coors Light cans in the passenger seat …”
The police video shows the Blaine officers repeatedly banging on the car roof and door. You can hear them yelling, “Wake up!”
When they finally get the driver’s attention, the video shows he seems incapable of following basic requests. He had to be asked nine times just to open his door.
That’s not all, once the man sat up, it became apparent that his penis was exposed as well, and so officers asked him to zip his pants up. Additionally, instead of opening the door, the man stepped on the gas and revved the engine.
Eventually, the man exits the car and complies with the officers, who put him through several sobriety tests and finally have him submit to a breathalyzer test. He blew a .202, more than two and a half times the legal limit.
The dashcam footage then shows the officers place the handcuffed man in the back of the patrol car. However, once seated in the car, the officers discover that the man they have arrested, William Monberg, 28, is actually an investigator for the Columbia Heights Police Department.
Blaine Police Officers Brad Nordby and Brandon Fettig discovered Monberg was a cop, turned off their microphones and discussed the situation. They are seen in the dashcam video removing Monberg from the backseat and later returning him there without handcuffs as they arrange a ride home for him rather than a ride to jail. This was considered a “professional courtesy” to Monberg.
However, let’s ask the question, what would have happened to you or me if we had engaged in the same behavior? That’s right, we would have went to jail, probably lost our license, paid an enormous fine and higher insurance.
The good news is that the incident didn’t go without notice. Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson began an investigation into what took place one month later. The result was that Officer Monberg was officially charged with DWI in December. Monberg entered a plea of not guilty and was to have a court date of March 2. He was also suspended from the Columbia Heights Police Department on the eve of his first court date in January.
Monberg issued a statement to KARE11:
I am profoundly ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself for the incident that occurred on November 7, 2015. I extend my most genuine apologies to my agency and community, the Blaine Police Department, and the officers who were placed in an incredibly difficult position because of my actions. I accept full responsibility for those actions but insist they do not represent an accurate reflection of my personal or professional character. I have been working diligently over the past four months to ensure that a similar situation will not occur again.
It’s interesting to note the legaleze that Monberg provides to KARE11. he claims to accept full responsibility, but has entered a plea of not guilty in court. How is that accepting “full responsibility.” It isn’t. He’s hoping to get off the hook and keep his job.
The bad news is that Chief Olson did nothing to the officers for covering up a crime.
“In this case inexperienced officers made a mistake,” he said. “It’s not acceptable. My expectation is fair and impartial policing and that didn’t happen. We need to treat people fairly and it shouldn’t matter what they do for a living.”
Fair and impartial? It’s not acceptable? Then why were the officers not removed for engaging in a crime themselves? Was it because they were “inexperienced”? Why did it take one month for the chief to investigate the incident? These are questions that need to be pressed on Chief Olson because the simple fact is that if there is no justice brought upon cops that break the law, it just makes it easier for them to do it in the future.
Though Monberg was charged, I would be very interested in seeing how that played out in court. So, far I have been unable to locate any information as to a rescheduling of his trial or a final outcome. If anyone knows these details, please feel free to drop me a note or leave the information in the comment section.