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Squad car video doesn’t show trial court’s findings were clearly erroneous

County of Fond du Lac v. Jeffrey K. Krueger, 2014AP1494, District 2, 12/30/14 (1-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

Krueger was stopped by an officer who said Krueger drove his car over the center line. Krueger disputed that and moved to suppress. At the suppression hearing the officer testified and the video from his squad car camera was played. The trial court found the video to be inconclusive and the officer’s testimony to be credible. “[W]hen evidence in the record consists of disputed testimony and a video recording, we will apply the clearly erroneous standard of review when we are reviewing the trial court’s findings of fact based on that recording.” State v. Walli, 2011 WI App 86, para 17, 334 Wis. 2d 402, 799 N.W.2d 898. Applying this standard, the court of appeals rejects Krueger’s argument that the video contradicts the officer:

¶4 There is nothing erroneous about [the trial court’s] finding. While Krueger might have a different opinion about what the video shows, Krueger is not the fact-finder. The trial court is. The trial court point-blank found that there was nothing in the video to specifically discredit the deputy’s testimony. We uphold this finding of fact.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Chris Dyer January 14, 2015, 8:28 am

    “The trial court point-blank found that there was nothing in the video to specifically discredit the deputy’s testimony. We uphold this finding of fact.” So, did the Court of Appeals even watch the video? Can’t tell from this opinion. What if “the trial court” needed a “thicka’ pair”. (Vincent Gambini).

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