Bisard's speed, training focus of Tuesday testimony
Jurors in the trial of suspended Indianapolis Metro Police Officer David Bisard are learning about what led up to the crash that killed one motorcyclist and critically injured two others.
Bisard is accused of driving drunk while responding to a call. Prosecutors are focusing on what happened when things went wrong, including the speed of the squad car.
Officer John Koers testified about the routine police run that led to the fatal crash. Officer Bisard volunteered to assist. Koers said he welcomed the back-up from Bisard, who was a K-9 officer. When asked if it was an emergency run, Koers said no. He was also asked if he saw any reason for officers to rush to the scene. "No, I did not," he replied.
Radio traffic played in court shows he volunteered to help another officer track a man wanted on a minor drug charge.
Koers saw Bisard after the crash and said he didn't see any signs of intoxication. "I believe he said, 'It would be good if I hadn't killed anyone,'" Koers said.
Commander Karen Arnett, a former driver training supervisor, testified about the driver training Bisard received. IMPD recruits get 40 hours of training for normal and emergency situations, including emergency braking with and without anti-lock brakes. Arnett says recruits are trained to drive 50-65 mph because "any faster, it becomes more difficult to control the vehicle."
Prosecutors say Bisard was driving at 76 mph before the crash.
Even so, Arnett said IMPD rules don't prohibit officers from going faster than 65 mph.
Sgt. Jeffrey Horn, another driver training supervisor, spoke about officers exceeding speed limits. "We are given the authority to violate the law," he said. But he also said, "We certainly have a responsibility to make sure everyone is safe."
Sgt. Allen Tuttle also testified Tuesday. He said he heard Bisard say he'd gotten up the night before the crash to get a drink because he couldn't sleep. Tuttle reported Bisard as saying, "There is no way it was .19, there's no way," regarding the blood alcohol content results.
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