The Florida Highway Patrol prides itself on its commitment to courtesy, service and protection, but trooper Scott Kunstmann had apparently not been living up to those values. This week, he was arrested and charged with perjury and official misconduct, both of which are felonies.
"We're fortunate in this day and age there is frequently a video camera rolling," said attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen
Kunstmann was under fire following the DUI stop of 71-year-old Robert Culbertson last November along Interstate 75 near Venice. The case was eventually tossed out due to inconsistencies in Kunstmann's report and what was seen in the dashcam video.
For example, at one point, the troopers were recorded talking about not smelling alcohol on Culbertson. Yet Culbertson's attorney says in his report, Kunstmann writes they did.
"When I saw the video, it went off like a light bulb -- they're lying," Mogensen said.
Affidavits filed by the state claim more inconsistencies written by Kunstmann after a stop in February of this year, and also from a stop on St. Patrick's Day. Dash cam video showed a young woman who appeared to follow all the trooper's commands in a polite manner. She and her attorney also say Kunstmann's paperwork and the video don't match up. They are trying to get the case thrown out.
"It raises concern over our police force and what they're doing," said attorney Michael Perry.
Besides being arrested, Kunstmann was fired Thursday. He had been with the FHP for five years.
"When I saw the video, I was surprised. It was almost as if the trooper forgot the cameras were on," Mogensen said.
She believes these cases cast doubt on Kunstmann's other DUI arrests and says defense lawyers are already asking questions.
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