INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - "Officer Bisard responded to a call he was not dispatched to, after being told other officers would assess the situation and let him know if he was needed. Officer Bisard responded at a high rate of speed with lights and sirens activated. Officer Bisard did so while intoxicated," Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub told the media Wednesday afternoon as his department released the findings of its internal investigation into how officers handled the investigation into the fatal crash involving Officer David Bisard.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and Chief of Police Paul Ciesielski joined Straub Wednesday in releasing a report detailing the internal review.
Mayor Ballard told the assembled media that after 67 interviews and many hours of scrutiny, the report is complete and clearly identifies failures relating to the accident.
Of the 67 individuals — from cops to witnesses — interviewed for the report, IMPD brass said not one said Bisard gave any indication that he was drinking the day of the crash.
One of those named witnesses is Samantha Daniels. She spoke to 24-Hour News 8 Reporter Brad Edwards in September, and she has a different story to tell. Watch the video in the video player to see the interview with Daniels.
"Working alongside of the FBI, two of our best IMPD detectives were chosen and asked to look at every aspect of the crash," Ciesielski said.
The report concludes: " In summary, on Friday, August 6, 2010 IMPD Officer David Bisard recklessly operated his semi-marked police vehicle, weaving in and out of traffic, with red/blue lights and sirens activated at a high rate of speed (73 mph in a 40 mph zone), while intoxicated. Officer Bisard's use of his emergency equipment was without sufficient cause or need. Officer Bisard crashed into three people on two motorcycles that were stopped at a red light at Brendon Way Parkway and E. 56th Street. One of the motorcyclists died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, a second was critically injured, and a passenger on one of the motorcycles was also seriously injured."
"Officer Bisard refused to cooperate with any of our investigations and provide an interview," Cunningham said, "He gave a face-to-face declination to cooperate with the investigation."
The investigation determined that Bisard was not asked to respond to the warrant search, he went voluntarily and responded with his lights and sirens.
"While he was en route … Officer Bisard was typing, sending and receiving messages on the laptop computer in his vehicle," and those messages were not related to police business Cunningham said.
According to the report , Officer Bisard sent his last laptop transmission at 11:19 a.m. Bisard received his last transmission at 11:20 a.m. The crash occurred between 11:19 a.m. and 11:21 a.m. IMPD officials have not released the content of those exchanged messages.
One officer on the scene had direct contact with Officer Bisard, according to the report . The report said Officer Bisard told the other officer that Bisard looked down at his laptop, looked up, and the motorcycles were "right there." Bisard told the officer he tried to swerve but was unable to do so.
A second officer, Sgt. Jeff Peterson arrived on the crash scene and located Bisard attempting to talk to one of the male victims, the report said.
"Peterson heard Bisard saying to the man, ‘Stay with me buddy! Stay with me buddy!' According to Peterson there was a look of panic on Bisard's face," the report said. "Sgt. Peterson grabbed Officer Bisard and walked him over to his (Peterson's) patrol car and had Bisard sit down."
Much of the controversy around the case stems from the botched blood tests. Prosecutors say the blood test was done at Methodist Occupational Health facility instead of a hospital, meaning the evidence showing Bisard was intoxicated could not be used to file charges of OWI against Bisard. The report says three primary officials contributed to the decision to take Bisard to the occupational health facility. One of those officials said he was concerned about the potential conflict that could occur if Bisard arrived at Methodist Hospital at the same time family members did.
"Through the investigation we've determined we have conflicting policies," Cunningham told the media.
After having his blood drawn, Bisard was driven to the police garage. "At that time Officer Bisard, unsupervised, was allowed to remove all contents of the crash vehicle," she said.
Bisard spoke to IMPD Major John Conley before leaving the scene concerning gear in the trunk of his crashed vehicle, according to the report.
"Major Conley approved and watched the removal of the gear including a black bag from the trunk of the vehicle,"
the report said. "Officer Bisard removed the black bag and placed it in Sgt. Peterson's vehicle. No one at the scene examined the contents of the bag removed or inventoried the items from the vehicle, which was part of the crime scene."
There are also questions that remain unanswered.
What was Bisard doing prior to the crash? IMPD previously stated he dropped his kids off at soccer practice. The report officially says it's unknown, citing the fact that Bisard refused to be interviewed.
What's next for Bisard?
Chief Ciesielski told reporters that Bisard would remain on administrative leave until the merit board decides whether or not he will keep his job. The merit board hearing will come only after a jury decides Bisard's guilt or innocence.
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