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Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 10:09 a.m.

Video wasn't working when officer allegedly pulled gun on motorist

By John Counts

The patrol car camera was not rolling when a Michigan State Police trooper allegedly pulled her gun on a Freeland man and threatened to shoot him during a traffic stop, the Livingston Daily reported.

Kim Sachs, 56, has told the newspaper he was "terrorized" when he was pulled over around 9 a.m. Oct. 29 on U.S. 23 south of Interstate 96. Police were trying to solve the roadway shootings plaguing the area at the time.

Sachs said the officer threatened to "shoot him dead" and only later told him she was investigating the 24 shootings that had recently occurred in several counties in southeastern Michigan, the newspaper reported.

The Livingston Daily attempted to obtain the in-camera video of the traffic stop via a Freedom of Information Act request, but received a letter that said the camera was non-operational.

Read the full story, which includes a response from Sachs, here.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Fat Bill

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

As patrol car cameras have become the norm, a reasonable person would assume that a police officer should only operate the car if they are functioning, much the same as they wouldn't take a car out with a bad siren or burned out red beacon.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

Surprise, we are now forewarned.

John Counts

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Just two weeks ago while sitting in court on a completely unrelated case, a Michigan State Police trooper who was testifying against a man accused of resisting arrest said, in open court, that the camera in his patrol car also did not work and hadn't worked since he'd been assigned the car six months ago. The trooper said he has made mention of this numerous times to his superiors, but has been told nothing could be done because of budget issues. While being examined and cross-examined, the trooper also said cameras on many of the other vehicles also do not work. This is an issue I plan on looking into.

Steven Taylor

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

Please let us know what a FOIA of any possible records provides you. With the post closing in Ypsi, your best bet is probably Post#12 in Brighton on Old-US23 (north of Grand River).. because it crosses the 23/96 Corridor where the shooter was busy.. So it was likely a trooper from that post. That would likely be a good place to start. I would wager that the only State units with relatively functional cameras would likely be the Motor Carrier officers.


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

Cover Up for sure...........I'm feeling safer already!


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

And this is news why?


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

someone could've gotten killed for no reason. You'd rather wait until that happens to call it news?


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Yeah and its not like people who get pulled over don't get all indignant and act like Aholes sometimes because they don't think they should get pulled over. I watched my dad almost get shot by a cop because my father decided to be a jerk over getting pulled over. My dad eventually decided to calm down and take his stupid speeding ticket. If this officer was investigating the ongoing crime (someone who was shooting at cars), it is reasonable for her to think that the guy she was pulling over might have a gun. If he got all lippy with her, I can see why she pulled her gun... and why he started crying. He probably was not expecting a gun in his face.

Steven Taylor

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 4:12 a.m.

Regardless of whether this individual is an A-hole or not. A cop threatening to snuff you out is a loose cannon looking for a reason to go off (Google, Officer Roid Rage and Canton, Ohio) for an example. A legal CPL holder, traveling thru a not necessarily nice part of time, is verbally and physically assaulted as well as repeatedly threatened to be murdered by the officer. I don't care if people are on edge. But a cop, usually has to have a darn good reason to unholster their sidearm. Even if it's to respond to a suspicious vehicle. Heck, you would also get radio reports usually requesting back up for such things as the "highway gunman" issue we had.


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

justcurious, check out the reply above. I submitted it to the wrong part of this thread. Anyways, you are really naive to think that it couldn't happen here. It has before and will again. narcotics officers burst into the home of a granny, thinking it was a drug house. She had a weapon for self-defence. They shot her dead. A man, obviously out of his mind, was tasered by law officers here in Michigan, while standing in water. It killed him. Another drug bust at the wrong location caused a retired police officer to draw his weapon, in his own home, to protect himself and he also was shot down. Don't be so smug and naive to think that it couldn't happen here. It has and will continue, especially if everyone thinks the way that you do.

Steven Taylor

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 5:31 a.m.

Cops, may not be out to 'get us' but they're not out there to help us. They are out there to solve crimes.. See this video here for a bit of insight.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Exactly! The cops are not out to get us, and if people think they are then maybe those people have been pulled over and didn't like it. The average citizen has no reason to fear an officer, at least around here.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

What, specifically, caused this video to not be available? Why was the camera "not rolling"? When, specifically, did the camera cease to function in this patrol car? What percentage of the cameras in state police cars are not currently functional? How many other video "not rolling" or "not available" responses have been given by the state police in 2010, 2011, and 2012?


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

Justcurious, you are naive to think that the average citizen has nothing to fear from a police officer. Any mistake made with a weapon drawn by a police officer tends to be fatal. I've had police pull a weapon on myself and a small group of friends when we were merely walking down the sidewalk to a restaurant to have breakfast. We didn't do anything and the officer was in a rage, grabbing people by the throat and threatening them. Turns out he was looking for someone else and some idiot pointed us out as having 'been seen in the area' where the crime took place. If his weapon accidentally discharged, one of us would've been killed. This happens a lot more than you would imagine, all over the country, even here. Don't fool yourself or get all smug about it. You don't know what you are talking about.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8 p.m.

It is unrealistic to expect that all equipment will be operating perfectly all the time anywhere, including your own home. I used to service atm machines and you would be amazed at how many banks fail to have a fully funtioning camera equipped to photograph anything going on at them. I guess it's just time to bash the police on behalf of this disgruntled guy.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

"If possible folks, carry a camera, heck, set yer cellphone to at least record audio and leave it discretely on your dash or console. You'd be glad you did." Sure - pull the camera out while the cop has a gun pointed at you.

Steven Taylor

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Most people have their phones in arms reach, or in a holder on the dash Mr. Granger. Usually on, leave a camera app on your home screen, one-two taps and yer good to go. Open carries do this all the time.. and they're visibly packing heat which would make most cops REAL nervous. It's merely insurance Granger, because more often than not cops make sure tapes get lost or cameras are busted if something sketchy happens.. One only needs to look into Officer Roid Rage down in Canton, Ohio recently who threatened a man with MURDER (his cam was working btw, and he was fired, but news over the weekend said he may be rehired because the union will go to bat for bad cops all the time)


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

I'm on the troopers side in this one. The guy who "was almost brought to tears" must have done some heavy resisting if indeed she did get "direct" with him. And yes, it is possible that the camera was not operating at the time. She was not the only officer sent out to look for a suspect. I'm just glad they did look for him and eventually found someone who probably is the perp.


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

And I have a bridge to sell you.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

I'm trying to figure out why he was stopped to begin with. From the article as it reads, his car isn't anything like what they were looking for. Most people would be able to say ooh it was a mustang that he was driving.. but that wasn't the case, so why was he stopped?

LLoyd Christmas

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

I call BS on that. With that high profile manhunt going on, don't tell me they would send a car out with a nonfunctioning dash cam. Police are worse than criminals.

Superior Twp voter

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

Name of female Trooper, please!?!?


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.



Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.



Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

Either it's convenient that the camera wasn't working to back up the officer's story, or it's convenient that this man's claim was made after he found out the camera wasn't working to back up HIS story. Which came first?


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

Is this guy still whinning...


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

I guess least someone is still writing about it.

Steven Taylor

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

Convenient isn't it.. Seems to happen rather frequently with cops interacting with citizens.. If possible folks, carry a camera, heck, set yer cellphone to at least record audio and leave it discretely on your dash or console. You'd be glad you did. When I had an internship with the State Troopers in 2001 the cars I rode in didn't have cameras at all.. Cops are NOT yer friend!


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

^ what Steven said!

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

that's convenient...


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

I was going to say that!!


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Imagine that!..