McKenna on KIRO: Police officer angrily arrests Utah nurse

KIRO 97.3 host Colleen O’Brien asked Rob about the now-famous video footage of a nurse being arrested in Utah. A police officer grew belligerent when the nurse wouldn’t perform a blood draw on an unconscious accident victim and wrongfully arrested her.

Colleen O’Brien: “As we see this sort of behavior more and more because of cell phone video and dashcam and body cams, are you seeing, because of the legal pressure, departments changing their tune about officer behavior?”

Rob McKenna: “I think it does draw greater attention to the importance of solid training and retraining for officers, and the prevalence of video now obviously creates greater accountability. I think that’s a good thing, that there’s more accountability because there’s more evidence when something goes wrong.

“It’s important to keep in mind that police officers interact with the public millions of times a day throughout our country. And the vast majority of the time, there’s no problem. Here, though, we recognize sometimes there is a problem, and we know about it because – well in this case, there were a lot of witnesses – but the video really drives it home.

“I was struck by how, in this case and other cases, the availability of dramatic video doesn’t just prompt a response from the police department issuing an apology, but everyone up to the governor of Utah is tweeting how awful this was, ‘this is wrong.’ You get legal experts jumping in with their expert opinions that the officer was in the wrong.

“So hopefully, this creates, in the long run, not only greater accountability, but better behavior so that the relatively small number of incidents that do occur become vanishingly small.”

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