Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"In the interests of justice....charges dismissed with prejudice"

This morning in Los Alamos Municipal Court, "in the interests of justice" (the county's words, not mine) the charges against Joe Wermer were dismissed with prejudice by Judge Alan Kirk during the initial hearing.

Thanks to all who supported Joe in this, especially Diane Albert, Esq, who prepared the Motion to Dismiss, to Joe for his perseverance. and to Los Alamos County for realizing that justice had not been served with this citation. Thanks too to Steve, the motorist involved with the collision, who showed up in moral support of Joe (note added later--Steve was apparently there because he was subpoenaed by the county, but it worked out well anyway). I've often said that in a small place like Los Alamos there is only 1.5 degrees of separation, and indeed, Steve is the neighbor of one of the cyclists who showed up to support Joe's case.

Actually, it was interesting. As soon as the court was in session, the County's own attorney, standing next to the investigating police officer, immediately introduced the County's own motion to dismiss "in the interests of justice". Judge Kirk, after asking Joe if he was OK with this, dismissed the charge with prejudice, meaning it cannot be re-instituted.

I did offer to the county's attorney, A.J. Salazar, to continue to work with the P.D. and community on this stuff, and it was taken with interest.The best outcome of this case is that we all (motorists, bicyclists, police, road designers) understand the law and traffic and create in us better, safer riders and drivers. I'd rather we not be going to court after crashes have happened because even if an investigation is done technically to perfection, its after we are scraping people off the ground and that's a little too late. Been there myself and can't say I enjoyed it much.

More later as I think on this. Sometimes silence is better than shooting from the lip.


Ian Brett Cooper said...

Did the policeman who issued the citation get any sort of reprimand from the judge or from anyone else in authority? If not, did he at least have the decency to appear embarrassed?

Steve A said...

Khal's last sentence said it all.

diane albert said...

Since Torpy is out of the picture, perhaps it's time to suggest that LAPD hire Tammy Schurr to provide training in Bike 101 to the force.Let me know how I can help with this. I've suggested to DA Kari Brandenberg here in ABQ to start ofgfering Bike Ed as a diversion project to offenders - both bicyclists and motorists.