The Havre Police Department got a call of support during the public comment section of the Havre City Council meeting Monday night from Doris Halverson, one of the jurors on council member Rick Dow’s traffic ticket trial last month.
Halverson told the council that local law enforcement needed better tools in the investigation of Dow’s charge of using a cellphone while driving.
“I would like to ask that the law be enforced, ” Halverson said. “When they try to do it; sometimes it doesn’t work. I would like to see them have better equipment … because that would be a benefit for both parties. ”
Dow’s defense attorney in the trial, Lindsay Lorang, was able to convince the jury that the only evidence the city had, the testimony of Officer Matthew Saylor and the footage from his patrol car’s dashboard camera, did not contain enough proof to warrant a guilty verdict.
Saylor told the jury that the camera’s video quality was too poor to see license plates or other detailed information and that its fixed position prevents the camera from seeing what it might need to, or at least what the officer might see.
Jurors found Dow not guilty. Halverson felt they would have decided differently if there had been more or better evidence.
“We didn’t have the proof we needed to find that person guilty, ” Halverson said.