Police officer suspended for letting suspected drunk driver off - KMOV.com

Police officer suspended for letting suspected drunk driver off

PICKNEYVILLE, Il. (KMOV) – A police officer is disciplined after being caught by his own dashboard camera letting a suspected drunk driver off in Pickneyville.

Officer Jamie Benbrook was disciplined this week for the incident which occurred in November.

The incident began as a one-vehicle accident involving the local mayor’s son, Nolan Kellerman, on early Thanksgiving morning.  It was suspected that Kellerman was drunk at the time of the accident.

The police chief did not know what the officer had done until weeks later.  The chief checked the tape following persistent rumors that Kellerman was drunk that night.  The following conversation was recorded on the tape:

Benbrook: “Let this be a lesson.  Don’t (expletive) drink and drive, dude.  Period.”
Kellerman: “I know that, but I was…I did fall asleep.”
Benbrook: “I know, but that don’t matter.  If a trooper or a sheriff’s deputy would have handled this, guess what?”
Kellerman: “I know.  I owe you one.”

Police Chief John Griffin told News 4 that Benbrook would have been severely punished if he had asked for something, such as money, in return for the favor.

“He made a bad decision,” Chief Griffin said.  “He failed to follow the proper procedures for dealing with a suspected drunk driver.”

Benbrook served his one-day suspension without pay on February 21 and will be on probabtion for six months.

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