Jun 22, 2011 12:20 AM by Jim Hummel
Following a public records request, Louisiana State Police released the dash-cam video from the night state Rep. Bobby Badon, D-Carencro, was arrested and charged with DWI. The arrest was made back in January, 2010, when Badon was initially pulled over for improper lane usage.
Last week, however, District Judge Herman Clause threw out the case after reviewing the dash-cam video, ruling there was no basis for the traffic stop that led to Badon's arrest.
KATC reached out to Badon for comment Tuesday at the Capitol, however he declined an on-camera interview and referred us to his attorney, Barry Sallinger.
Badon released the following statement through Sallinger:
"While I was cleared of the charges against me, I admit that my behavior on that night was improper. I was upset over what was proved to be a meritless arrest, and my emotions simply got the best of me. None of us are above the law, and I realize that my actions that night were not in keeping with this belief. I apologize to the residents of my district and have learned a great deal from this experience."
Sallinger also released a statement Tuesday, in which he criticized the Louisiana State Police for releasing the dash-cam video to the media, following a public records request.
"From my perspective, release to the media of a video or related file material which has been suppressed, not in evidence and protected by the Public Records Law is a serious problem for the State Police. The State Police constantly refuses, even in defiance of court orders, to release information which is supportive of innocence on many cases involving ordinary citizens on a regular basis. Yet, in the case of a acquitted public official who twice publicly admitted his human weaknesses and failings, it uses a different standard is used. "
"Consider that the State may have appealed the ruling. By releasing the suppressed material, the State Police would have jeopardized the prosecution's attempts to have fair treatment on appeal or retrial by tainting the outcome. How smart is that? One should question the motives of those involved in the release of the video."
"We have rules of law. The State Police obviously believes those laws to not apply to it."
State Police spokesman Stephen Hammons said Tuesday the department stands by both the initial traffic stop, and the decision to release the dash-cam video. Hammons says the State Police legal team reviewed the freedom of information request like any other, before it was approved.
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