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The Bisard Crash

A report by the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety on the David Bisard crash that killed a motorcyclist this summer and injured two others shows a breakdown in police rules and  procedure but no conspiracy or intentional cover-up.

The 47-page document is based on interviews with nearly 70 witnesses from all stages in the incident; Bisard was not one of them as he refused to be interviewed.   The primary investigation was conducted by the FBI, with IMPD’s  internal affairs conducting a parallel investigation.

Here is a breakdown of the findings…

  • The accident reconstruction showed Officer Bisard’s vehicle had brake issues which may have played a roll in the crash.
  • IMPD failed to properly impound Bisard’s vehicle, instead allowing him to remove some of his personal property from the car.
  • Both the Ed Zych of the Marion Prosecutor’s Office and IMPD’s Lt. George Crooks failed to keep the Department up to speed on changes in Indiana’s law regarding blood alcohol draws in crash scenes involving fatalities and police officers.   However, the report notes the Department did follow the law as it was written prior to it being amended this Spring.
  • Multiple tests were run on Bisard’s blood and each time it came back .19.  Each exam followed proper blood draw procedure.
  • While former Assistant Chiefs Daryl Pierce and Ron Hicks did communicate with Chief Paul Ciesielski about the crash, neither one of them requested or suggested the Chief or Public Safety Director Frank Straub come to the scene.
  • A review of  the CVS pharmacy surveillance tape  did not show a clerk selling Officer Bisard alcohol.

The report also makes recommendations for the following changes in IMPD policy.

  • Require a critical response team and fatal alcohol team to all fatal accidents involving police officers.
  • All officers to be taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment regardless of severity, in accidents involving serious bodily injury.
  • All officers must submit to a portable breathalyzer test when involved in a crash involving a department vehicle.
  • Officers should employ appropriate crime scene management.

A couple of things on how the report was put together.   The FBI does not do a report, per se.  The agency interviewed witnesses and send the transcripts to the Justice Department which returns a finding of whether there is a civil rights violation or criminal conspiracy.  That is still under review, so anyone who has been saying there is a “report” out there was in error.

Secondly, for the conspiracy theorists in the room,  for a “cover-up” to work in this case it would involve the complete cooperation of police, medical lab technicians, the prosecutor’s office, multiple witnesses and the FBI. The only thing missing would a book depository, second shooter and a one-armed man.   The Mayor’s Office should have done a better job at dispelling the rumor mill without compromising the investigation by explaining how the process would work.

Third, and most importantly,  I think the report unveils what a lot of responsible voices have been saying, while most officers do their job, but the policies and procedures of the Department really need to be tightened and training needs to be improved, and trust needs to be re-established.   Some people are going to believe what they want, but luckily there are grown ups in the room of all backgrounds and political persuasions who can work together to move the city and IMPD forward.

  • On the Side of Blue

    Indy, chuckle all you want. This traffic fatality, that was “nothing more” regardless of it’s size was a perfect example of a situation requiring the use of the ICS. I guarantee you it was being used by the fire/EMS side of operations there that day. They use ICS on EVERY working incident. This crash involved responses from 3 different police agencies, fire & EMS from 2 different agencies, and had more than enough people on scene to warrant ICS to manage all of them.

    It is apparently very easy for you to mock and make fun of what you clearly DO NOT understand. No, the crash was not the magnitude of the air piracy of 9/11 or a natural disaster like Katrina, but that, in no way diminishes the need for an organized command structure on the scene that day from the law enforcement perspective. It WAS NOT instituted and as a result…as the report clearly points out in several instances…led to the loss of or compromise of key evidence in the following investigation.

  • Ash

    You still aren’t getting the point. Anybody who chooses to be cotted with an administration that goes after innocent officers and lets a whole bunch of guilty ones walk and then refuses to accept any culpability or explain the fundamentals of their decision-making process is well within the confines of being susceptible to the criticisms toward the administration of which they are a part.

    EVERY, and I do mean EVERY, cop that I have talked to doesn’t know a single rank-and-file officer who has any respect or trust in the current leadership. For pete’s sake, I have it on multiple good authorities that the Chief even went to Piland’s old shift and refused to provide answers to basic fundamental questions.

    Nobody’s saying anybody is a “good” or “bad” person. Either someone can lead effectively and do the right thing, or they can’t. Administration roles in a police department require a large workplace moral compass. People in charge now either don’t have one, or they’re ignoring it for the $20K/year raise. It’s not personal, it’s not about what people do on their own spare time or who they choose to drink with on the weekends, it’s about the decisions that are made on a daily basis at their workplace. Why is this so hard to wrap your head around?

  • Ash

    You still aren’t getting the point. Anybody who chooses to be cotted with an administration that goes after innocent officers and lets a whole bunch of guilty ones walk and then refuses to accept any culpability or explain the fundamentals of their decision-making process is well within the confines of being susceptible to the criticisms toward the administration of which they are a part.

    EVERY, and I do mean EVERY, cop that I have talked to doesn’t know a single rank-and-file officer who has any respect or trust in the current leadership. For pete’s sake, I have it on multiple good authorities that the Chief even went to Piland’s old shift and refused to provide answers to basic fundamental questions.

    Nobody’s saying anybody is a “good” or “bad” person. Either someone can lead effectively and do the right thing, or they can’t. Administration roles in a police department require a large workplace moral compass. People in charge now either don’t have one, or they’re ignoring it for the $20K/year raise. It’s not personal, it’s not about what people do on their own spare time or who they choose to drink with on the weekends, it’s about the decisions that are made on a daily basis at their workplace. Why is this so hard to wrap your head around?

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha ha ha, Blue! :) I’m laughing out loud!

    The crash involved only one police agency. If more than one EMS came, wooppeee! This did not require anything of the magnitude as 9-11 or Katrina.

    This was a simple traffic fatality. ONE police agency, no others called in…why would they be? They needed more than one ambulance, big deal! Fire came as part of protocal for a accident with injury, big deal!

    This was local stuff, NO WAY comparable to a major disaster!

  • On the Side of Blue

    Once AGAIN Indy, you miss the point entirely! The size of the incident does NOT matter. If you bothered to read the report you would see that there were IMPD, Washington Twp. school police, and City of Lawrence police that responded to that crash.
    As it has played out thusfar, this incident was anything but a “simple” traffic fatality, in part because general orders were not followed as they should have been.

    Once again, the size of the incident has nothing to do with the implimentation of incident command. The nature of the scene, that fact that there were a large number of personel there, and the fact that they needed to be managed effectively, dictated that the ICS be utilized at that scene. The fact that nobody was clearly in charge and monitoring the efforts of all that were there has clearly played out in the months that have followed, and is cited in the report. Try reading it. Then try reading up on incident command, when its appropriate to use, and it’s benefits.
    I promise it is an easy read, however, your ability to grasp the imortance of it is yet to be seen.
    And trust me, I’m getting much more amusement out of having to school someone with no obvious background in emergency scene operations than you are blabering about things you simply do not understand & trying to turn it into the government imposing it’s power on our rights……now that is truly laughable!

  • Anonymous

    Blue: If you had any knowledge of our city you would know that

    1) This happened in (Lawrence Twp) Indianapolis, IN. Not close to Washington Twp. Washington Twp Schools does NOT have a police dept as defined by Indiana law. They hire off-duty police. If Washington TTwp Schools had representatives on the scene then a Grand Jury should decide if Ghost Employment was taking place…that is a felony!) Washington Twp has no jurisdiction, authority, and was NOT requested to assist. Nor were they needed. That school district is NOT near the crash scene, so someone was goofing off!

    This did NOT happen in Washington Twp. This did NOT happen in Lawrence City Limits. This was NOT a major incident to require the LARGEST CITY in Indiana to call upon the resources of a small city for help. This was a traffic fatality. This was not a catastrophe as you try to paint.
    Blue, get things in perspective! Are you on Earth or smoking a fat boy? Large number of personnel there? Let’s see: an ambulance for each injured person (normal). A fire dept because it was a traffic accident, and ONE police dept with jurisdiction. Can you challengel these facts? No? I knew the answer.

    You have no clue, Blue. You are as ignorant as Blue. Perhaps, you have personal emotion in this matter…I don’t blame personal emotion from taking over rational decision making. I am human, and understand if you lost a loved one, you may not think rationally.
    Perhaps you can get some education on emergency management and LOCAL authority.

  • abc

    indy4u2c. you are the most ignorant s.o.b alive. incident command works for as small as an incident as several people or as large as natural disaster or terrorist attack, there are different levels I have personally been trained level 100 and an continuing training class. there is also level 200 and 300 for large incidents. it is not funded by the federal government it is required to be practiced. i’ve seen it used several times in my work with perimeters set up on wanted felons, with the south side bank robbery. Bisard’s crash should have been done with incident command just because of the number of first responders and investigators from multiple agencies. no i don’t know the specific statute. but, i have personally been involved in it’s use. you can come out and ride with me, talk to actual people that have used it, and maybe see it implemented for yourself. or just remain ignorant. at least look it up. so put up or shut up.

  • shug

    just showed how ignorant you are. if you’re base you arguments on the numbers of dead or cost, get it half right. more like over 3000 dead. katrina cost billions in damage.

  • Anonymous

    abc, you are the most ignorant p.o.s. alive! This was NOT 9-11. This was NOT Katrina.

    Whoopee! abc was “trained” at 100 level. I took that as Freshman English in College.

    100, Wowsa! abc, you da man! Whoppee!!!

    This was a traffic fatality. They happen in communities everywhere, are not “major incidents”, but traffic fatalities. If you can’t handle it, then go back home & suck your thumb. There was no need to treat that traffic fatality as a 9-11, thousands didn’t die, nor were likely to die.

    The matter was handled properly, but Frank Straub called the staff from the scene…which was IMPROPER, to kiss his butt at a brown-noser press conference! Had those leaders not been forced to leave the scene to praise The Dictator then, they would have been in charge of the scene…INCIDENT COMMANDERS.

    You must be on Herr Straub’s Public Relations Staff, we’ve read about you…he hired several P. R. people to bolster his image and make him look like “god”. Straub is a megalomaniac. Are you his P. R. staff?

  • Anonymous

    abc, you sooo very IGNORANT! Yes, a major incident where 3000 are dead is different than an every day traffic fatality along any street in America. Yes, that is different…you ignoramous.

  • Anonymous

    abc, you sooo very IGNORANT! Yes, a major incident where 3000 are dead is different than an every day traffic fatality along any street in America. Yes, that is different…you ignoramous.

  • indygetaclue

    here you go….homeland security directive 5. Not every law or mandate is title 18. i agree with you bout the 10th amendment, but, you think the feds don’t expand their powers that violate the 10th. you hear of Obama care? that’s just this year. The point is the incident command can be used on almost all incidents no matter what size. it’s a management system. and federal courts have ruled that local and state governments can be sued for not using it. 10th amendment or not.

  • abc

    actually can’t stand straub. sorry that level 100 is all i have, i’m just a lowly patrolman. but it’s more than your training or understanding. you don’t get the point, it doesn’t matter the size. the dead. the damage. i’ve been involved personally in at least a dozen incidents in the last couple years where it was used. come by 551 n king av at 7pm. i, along with others can educate you on it. but, you’ll probable just run your suck behind a computer. i’m on vacation now but back on the 28th.

  • On the Side of Blue

    abc, I think our attempt to get Indy to realize that the size of an incident is irrelevant in the usage of the ICS is a a practice in futility. He doesn’t get it, and then reverts right back to childish examples, and cites the same arguments that he started with. He doesn’t get it, period. I say let him think what he wishes, it has no real bearing on what we do.

  • Anonymous

    and you can use my Aunt Nelly’s switch to command, too! This country was founded on governing least is governing best. NO program is best for our entire country, we let homefolks decide what is best for their own community. You can use Aunt Nelly’s system or the NIMS system. But the joy of our country is that LOCAL communities decide what is best for them.

    Please cite case law from “federal courts” that “have ruled that local and state governments can be sued for not using it.” I submit that you are FULL OF IT! In my country, local governments have discretion. I think you are IGNORANT!

    Got anything to back-up what you say, Herr Straub Public Relations Staff?????

  • Anonymous

    I’m better trained than you. I laugh at your own ignorance.

    While you’re on vacation, just keep your thumb in your mouth and you’ll be happy.

  • Anonymous

    ignorance is bliss

  • Anonymous

    –I imagine the case law you mention is case law “you don’t know”, just like the federal law that required NIMS cannot be cited. You fool.

    Our country lets homefolks decide what is best for their own communities…you just don’t get it, do you?

  • On the side of Blue

    Indy for the love of god would you read the report? Does it not have enough pictures for you to consider reviewing? Washington Twp school police and City of Lawrence police were clearly mentioned as responding. I have no doubt you can read, your abilities to comprehend though elude me.

    Once again you want to harp on the size of the incident and state that it was not large enough to warrant incident command…and once again you prove your total lack of understanding of how it all works. Please save your commentary for something you are quaified to speak on, and trust me, this subject is NOT on that short list.

    Regarding Straub, I am dead on the same page with you there. However, if the ICS had been applied to the crash scene, command would have been handed off to another person when the Asst. Chief and Dep. Chiefs had been called in to that meeting. That’s a whole other conversation.

  • Anonymous

    Are you qualified to handle a traffic fatality, abc?

    No?

    Are you simple as your screen name implies?

    –I bet you are

  • Anonymous

    Blue: he he he ha ha ha! You don’t know what you are talking about.

    First off: Washington Twp has no jurisdiction, authority, nor response to this matter. If they did, the prosecutor should look at Ghost Employment Felony Charges! This was not in their school district, near it, nor were they requested as “mutual aid”.

    Hmmmm, Felony Ghost Employment? Official Misconduct for using school equipment in an unauthorized manner.

    Both are felonies.

    City of Lawrence…well, I know they were not called to assist, because they would NOT assist unless REQUESTED. In fact, City of Lawrence completely disavows all jurisdiction along City of Indianpolis streets….ask a police officer. They will NOT assist unless asked and they happen to be gracious enough to want to assist…which isn’t often.

    Local authorities can decide how to handle their own situations without regard from courts….learn something, please.

    Straub is the only fool at fault here. He demanded a brown nose session.

  • Anonymous

    Washington Twp Schools lost a prior law suit for pretending to operate emergency vehicles they were not allowed to have. Perhaps they need another law suit????

  • Anonymous

    My…touchy, aren’t we? I wonder why.

    Your feelings of inadequacy are understandable — perhaps arising from improper potty training.

    TA, believe it or not, not everyone wants federal intervention in their personal lives. Not everyone wants federal intervention in their States’ rights.

    If the feds really wanted to ‘protect’ my rights, then they would LIMIT themselves to ONLY their Constitutional authority, and leave me and mine ALONE.

    I was in the service of my country for over 20 years. I have earned the right to say these things.

    Deal with it.

  • IndyAries

    My…touchy, aren't we? I wonder why.

    Your feelings of inadequacy are understandable — perhaps arising from improper potty training.

    TA, believe it or not, not everyone wants federal intervention in their personal lives. Not everyone wants federal intervention in their States' rights.

    If the feds really wanted to 'protect' my rights, then they would LIMIT themselves to ONLY their Constitutional authority, and leave me and mine ALONE.

    I was in the service of my country for over 20 years. I have earned the right to say these things.

    Deal with it.

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