TFTP — More than 100 DWI cases had to be dismissed in Raleigh, North Carolina, after it was determined a sheriff’s deputy lied on the stand.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman dismissed all the cases after now-ex deputy, Robert Davis was deemed incompetent to testify by District Court Judge Jacqueline Brewer. Because Davis hadn’t been truthful in some cases, Brewer disqualified his testimony — leaving the DA no choice but to dismiss a plethora of cases involving the former cop.
Last week, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison fired Davis, who had been on the job for 15 years, over the revelations, according to The Wichita Eagle.
“In an order attached to one of the cases in which Brewer disqualified Davis as a witness, the judge outlined three incidents in which he made false statements on court documents and on the witness stand,” the Eagle reported.
North Carolina’s DWI law allows drivers to refuse any sobriety test — but their license will be revoked for a full year if they choose to do so. Before a test is given, drivers are allowed to contact an attorney for legal advice or a witness to observe the test — though testing cannot be delayed longer than a half hour.
In one of the incidents, which took place on August 2, 2014 Davis brought a woman to the Wake Forest Police Department for testing after he stopped her on suspicion of DWI. Without allowing her the full 30 minutes to contact a witness, Davis recorded that she hadn’t requested one. When the woman asked questions about the test, the deputy simply claimed she had refused to take it — and filed that refusal with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
Once the woman received notification by mail that her license would be revoked, she requested a hearing. Audio and video of the incident, which was recorded in the police department’s ‘intoxilyzer’ room, revealed Davis’ lies. She did, in fact, attempt to call a witness but was unable to get an outside line. Davis had also badgered her into taking the test before her allotted half hour had expired.
A similar incident occurred in February 2014, after Davis stopped another woman for suspected impaired driving — and “fired a stun gun twice at the driver.”
Though she contacted her attorney, Davis proceeded to administer the test before the 30-minute delay period had expired. Alarmingly, recording of that incident showed Davis simply lied — he recorded in paperwork not only that the driver didn’t make a phone call, but that she refused to take the test.
In a third incident from March 2015, Davis again recorded incorrectly that a driver had refused testing — when, in fact, she had simply questioned why she wasn’t being given the full 30 minutes.
Now, dozens of people have been let off the hook thanks to the former deputy’s lies.
“I hate it,” Sheriff Harrison said of firing Davis, “but we’ve got our credibility to look after, too.”
According to the Eagle, Harrison terminated Davis’ employment as soon as he received the judge’s order — with all its damning evidence.
This article originally appeared on The Free Thought Project and is available through creative commons.
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